Former NFL offensive line Ryan O’ Callaghan played for the Patriots and Chiefs from 2006-2010 and came out of the closet in 2017 (not to the public) has a book coming out next moth called “My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended up Saving My Life,” in the boook O’Callaghan talks about being gay, how the NFL ban on weed got him hooked on painkillers and one quote that sent shock waves was his assertion that:
“Every team has at least one homosexual or bisexual player who is too scared to come out because they fear a negative impact on their career.”
He did also add how the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft made him very comfortable during his time in New England:
“At the reception, in summer of 2017, O’Callaghan recalled Kraft saying: “What you did took a lot of courage. I’m so proud of you.”
“Spending a few minutes privately with Mr. Kraft in his office is surreal. It’s just him and me, with a couple hundred people outside his office door. …I never got that treatment when I was on his payroll. For (Kraft), who opens up to me about a gay friend, I am the most important person in the world in those few moments. Given where I have been in the previous dozen years, he is equally the most important person in the world for me right then and there.”
O’Callaghan said at the reception, former Patriots Kevin Faulk, Andre Tippett, Dan Koppen and Deion Branch singled him out with praise and made him feel part of the franchise’s forever family.”
— Boston.com Patriots News (@BDCPatriots) August 29, 2019
With the amount of players on each NFL roster Ryan is probably right. There is a ton of players who might be gay or bi that didn’t come out. Hopefully, his story and courage can get people who are uncomfortable with coming out to finally feel free to come out and have courage to face it in front of their teammates and media.