In some surprising news that—ahem—came out of the NFL yesterday, former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan revealed he is gay.
And in what can only be called a compelling story, O’Callaghan explained how he wasn’t hiding being gay from his fellow players as much as he was hiding behind them at one point saying:
“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.”
Still, O’Callaghan also detailed how his plan from a young age was to take his own life as soon as his career in football had run its course before—thankfully—being swayed from that dark future when he came out to NFL executive Scott Pioli.
Pioli was the vice president of player personnel with the Patriots and one of the first people O’Callaghan came out to.
When O’Callaghan approached Pioli to inform him he needed to get something off his mind, Pioli thought the lineman had done something “truly terrible.” After O’Callaghan informed Pioli he’s gay, the GM assumed there was more.
But thankfully there was that continued support from Pioli—who took him with him when he left New England for Kansas City—as well as his family and friends to help O’Callaghan go on to play six NFL seasons.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, he says he can’t remember a single instance where he heard a homophobic slur in the locker room.
Source: SB Nation