Does Sexuality Matter in the NFL
Since i don't play in the NFL, I don't know if it does or if my opinion counts but a report by ESPN recently did a piece on Ryan Russell, a three-year NFL veteran, discussing his sexuality as part of his method to be transparent in attempt to return to the league. He was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after a successful college career at Purdue. He played one season with the Cowboys and two for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He started seven games for the Bucs in 2017. This is his story, in his own words.
Have I lied to teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans about who I am? Not exactly. But withholding information is a form of deceit. And I want the next part of my career -- and life -- steeped in trust and honesty. During the season you spend more time with your team than with your own family; truth and honesty are the cornerstones of a winning culture. My truth is that I'm a talented football player, a damn good writer, a loving son, an overbearing brother, a caring friend, a loyal lover, and a bisexual man.
Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly. I want to live my dream of playing the game I've worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I've always been.
Those two objectives shouldn't be in conflict. But judging from the fact that there isn't a single openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL, brings me pause. I want to change that -- for me, for other athletes who share these common goals, and for the generations of LGBTQ athletes who will come next.