Support Local Journalism, Join the SA Current Press Club.

Former Dallas Cowboy Comes Out as Bisexual, Hopes to Make Return to NFL 

Former Dallas Cowboys draft pick and defensive lineman Ryan Russell has come out as bisexual in a new article.

In an as-told-to piece, Russell opened up for the first time publicly about his sexuality. He was selected by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2015 draft.

"Have I lied to teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans about who I am? Not exactly," Russell said. "But withholding information is a form of deceit. And I want the next part of my career β€” and life β€” steeped in trust and honesty."

The 27-year-old is currently a free agent in the NFL. After spending his rookie season in Dallas, Russell was traded to Tampa Bay where he played two seasons. He suffered a shoulder injury in 2017 and missed the entire 2018 season after being released by the Buffalo Bills.

Russell said playing in the NFL again is just as important as living openly as a bisexual man. He points out that there still isn't a single openly gay player in the league β€” or any league for that matter.

"[T]he fact that there isn't a single openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL brings me pause," Russell said. "I want to change that β€” for me, for other athletes who share these common goals, and for the generations of LGBTQ athletes who will come next."
View this post on Instagram

π™»πš˜πšŸπšŽ πš’πšœ πšπšŠπš’πšπš‘πšπšžπš• π™»πš˜πšŸπšŽ πš’πšœ πš”πš’πš—πš π™Έπš πšπš˜πšŽπšœπš—'𝚝 πš‹πš›πšŠπš πš˜πš› πš‹πš˜πšŠπšœπš π™±πšžπš πš πš‘πšŽπš— 𝙸 πšπšŽπš•πš• πšπš‘πšŽ πš πš˜πš›πš•πš 𝚈𝚘𝚞'πš›πšŽ πš–πš’πš—πšŽ 𝙸 πšπšŽπš—πš 𝚝𝚘 πš‹πš›πšŠπš πšπš‘πšŽ πš–πš˜πšœπš

A post shared by Ryan K. Russell (@rkrelentless) on

Russell also shares a story about a time a blogger figured out he was dating a man by checking out Instagram stories and posts, putting two and two together. Russell said he told the blogger that outing him would have implications, prompting the the writer to advise him to be more careful.

"Let that sink into your brain: Even though openly LGBTQ people are thriving in every area of public life β€” politics, entertainment, the top corporations in America β€” they are so invisible in pro sports that a gossip blogger is doing a favor for a bisexual football player by not disclosing that he happens to date men," Russell said. "Nobody should need a favor to live honestly. In nobody's worlds should being careful mean not being yourself. The career you choose shouldn't dictate the parts of yourself that you embrace."

Now, he's is trying to get back into the game β€” literally.

"I'm not looking to be a symbol or media star. 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."

Stay on top of San Antonio news and views. Sign up for our Weekly Headlines Newsletter.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the San Antonio Current Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the San Antonio Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

January 26, 2022

View more issues


Join SA Current Newsletters

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2022 San Antonio Current

Website powered by Foundation