Former NFL player Ryan Russell announced in an article that he was bisexual on Thursday.
"The truth is that I am a talented football player, a very good writer, a loving son, a kind brother, a committed friend, a loyal lover and a bisexual man," Russell told the ESPN network.
The 27-year-old defensive tackle has spent three seasons in the NFL: one with the Dallas Cowboys and two with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He has not found a position in the league since 2017, having suffered a shoulder injury.
"I have two goals: to return to the NFL and live my life openly bisexual. I want to realize my dream of practicing the sport for which I have persevered all my life, and to remain open to the person I have always been, "he said.
"These two goals should not conflict. I am sad to observe that there are no openly LGBTQ players in the NFL, NBA, major league or NHL. I want to change that. For me, for other athletes who share my goals and for generations of upcoming LGBTQ athletes. "
Drafted in 2015, the Texas native now hopes his sexuality will not affect his chances of winning a job in the NFL.
"The NFL is a multi-billion dollar company that has the power to create a supportive environment for people in the LGBTQ community to get the job they want. League teams are afraid of "distractions" that could be brought by additional media content. Relationists have more important things to do than answering questions like "What does it mean to have a bisexual team mate?", Russell said.
The only other American football player to have spoken openly about his homosexuality is the former St. Louis Rams and Cowboys Michael Sam. The 2014 drafted player was also part of the Montreal Alouettes organization in the Canadian Football League (CFL), but does not have a contract.