Second time’s a charm, right? Ryan O’Callaghan, the former professional NFL football player for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs, has come out… for the second time.
O’Callaghan previously implied he was gay when he mentioned having a boyfriend in 2014; however, no one really noticed his big announcement.
Earlier this week, O’Callaghan gave an interview to Outsports where he discussed life as a gay football player. He said:
“I used football as a cover for my life. Football was the most masculine thing I could do, so I decided to dedicate myself to football… No one is going to assume the big football player is gay. It’s why a football team is such a good place to hide.”
He further explained how difficult it was for him:
“Being gay wasn’t just a small detail in my life, it consumed it. It’s all I would think about. But now that I have come out it rarely crosses my mind…. I’d go about my daily life in football, but thinking about hiding it and hoping no one finds out and being ready for any situation was exhausting….My plan was to end my life after football. I thought that would be it, and I could never be an out gay man. I’m just glad there were people who pushed me in the right direction, and I could get help…. I went and start talking to someone, and she said, why don’t you find out? I drove out to California and told my family… All the people I was most concerned about were fine, it was so much easier than I ever imagined.”
O’Callaghan hopes his coming out will be an example for other football players so they know it is OK to be gay and play the sport. He said:
“I think teams are ready. Guys just have to understand, he’s gay, but that doesn’t mean he wants to date you, he just wants to be your teammate. It’s not a big deal. It’s really not…. I hope that me coming out will lead to someone else much higher profile coming out. Coming out’s not the end of the world… it will be okay. I’m having a great time, I love life now.”