The NFL's Ryan Russell Says He Had to Come out for His Own Truth & Ability to Self-Love

The NFL Star discusses his journey on coming out as bi-sexual last year

May 12, 2020

NFL defensive end, Ryan Russell and professional dancer partner, Corey O'Brien spoke with AJ Gibson and Mikalah Gordon on The Morning Beat about Russell's coming out journey and what being an interracial couple means in 2020. Additionally, O'Brien speaks about opening up on his sobriety journey. The dancer recently penned an intimate piece that was featured in Out Magazine. Finally the couple shares insight on their new YouTube channel and what it has done for their relationship during the quarantine. 

Russell says, oftentimes people associate toxic masculinity heavily with football and the NFL, however no matter the situation "coming out is a personal journey for everyone." "Whether you play in the NFL, whether you're a professional dancer, whether you work in an office job it's (coming out) is so personal. I was at the point in my journey where my own survival was rooted in truth. My own love and self-love were rooted in visibility and honesty. I had to come out. It wasn't really an option for me," Ryan shares.

”You have shown me the deepest parts of myself, about my weaknesses and my strengths, and how they all deserve to be loved.” R.K. Russell

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

The couple also says they anticipated comments about their relationship after Russell came out as bisexual, however, the couple did not anticipate comments about being in an interracial relationship.  Corey brings up the fact that they braced themselves for possible homophobia but, "What was surprising for me was that when he did come out a lot of people had an issue with him dating me. It was just not anything I expected to happen. I had an idea that people weren't going to be supportive of his sexuality, but I didn't know that the first thing they were going to go to was attacking our love for one another and attacking our skin color. We stay far away from all those negative things that really try to impact our relationship," says O'Brien. 

“Whether you're tackling someone on a field or dancing in ballet shoes, it's still a passion, and we're still entertainers in our own way." - Corey O'Brien @dancemagazine

A post shared by Corey O'Brien (@corey_obrien) on