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NFL free agent Ryan Russell has come out as bisexual, saying he hopes to return to the league, but only if he can be honest with 'teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans' about his real identity.
'I want the next team to sign me valuing me for what I do and knowing who I truly am,' Russell wrote in a piece for ESPN.
Days - Dancer - Corey - O'Brien - YouTube
These days he's involved with professional dancer Corey O'Brien and the two have launched their own YouTube channel, but over the last four years, Russell struggled with being closeted. He was scared that coming out as bisexual could adversely affect his career, and those fears nearly came to fruition in 2016 when a 'well-known blogger' threatened to expose him.
'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,' wrote Russell. 'He'd eradicate a childhood dream that was the product of years of work and sacrifice.'
Urging - Russell - Blogger - Secret
Ultimately, at the urging of Russell, the blogger agreed to conceal his secret.
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Russell - Career - NFL - Player
The 27-year-old Russell's career has been somewhat unremarkable for an NFL player.
A defensive end who played at collegiate level at Purdue, Russell was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2015 draft. A year later he signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' practice squad, doing well enough to eventually get a promotion to the active roster.
Starts - Shoulder - Injury - Training - Camp
He made seven starts in 2017, but he suffered a severe shoulder injury and was not re-signed. Outside of brief training camp stint with the Buffalo Bills, Russell has been out of the NFL, more or less, for the last two seasons.
His desire to play in the NFL has not changed, but Russell does regret hiding himself over his three...
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