Former Cowboys Draft Pick Ryan Russell Comes out as Bisexual

Ryan Russell, a defensive end who was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round back in 2015, just made an announcement. In a letter to ESPN, Russell announced he was bisexual. He is currently not with an NFL team, but he hopes coming out will help change that.

"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," Russell said in the letter.

"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."

Russell wants to be the first openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL. When he was in the NFL, Russell wasn't able to come out because of the reaction it would cause. However, he recalled a time when a blogger nearly blew his cover as he found out he was dating a man via Instagram.

"My professional world and personal world were colliding with me caught in the cataclysm," Russell said. "I panicked, then wrote back, reminding him that there were implications about his actions he didn't fully understand. If the blogger outed me, I was sure that would kill my career, one that was supporting not just me, but my mother and grandfather. He'd eradicate a childhood dream that was the product of years of work and sacrifice."

Towards the end of the letter, Russell said teams now are more worried about players producing on the field more than their sexuality. He said he's not looking for anything other than to sign with a team that knows everything about him.

"I just want to play ball for a team that knows me off the field and values me on it," Russell said. "I want to encourage teammates to be the same people they have always been. I want us to remain as close as family. I want to be able to dedicate my life to football without feeling like I can't dedicate my life to truth as well."

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Russell has played in 23 NFL games and has recorded three sacks. His most notable season was in 2017 when he recorded 16 tackles and two sacks in 14 games with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.