NFL vet Ryan K. Russell still wants to play after coming out. He’s more ready than ever.

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11/29/2020

It was August 29, 2019. There were still 11 Democratic presidential candidates. Alex Trebek had recovered from chemotherapy and announced his return to work filming episodes of Jeopardy. The “bisexual chair,” and a New Zealand member of Parliament holding a colleague’s newborn in session, were taking over the internet. Ryan K. Russell remembers the date, off the top of his head, because it was the day he publicly came out as bisexual. Since his coming out, Russell has remained an unsigned free agent, and the NFL has yet to have an out player active on game day. Nor has the NBA, the NHL, or Major League Baseball. Still he believes that, as he wrote that day, he can be the first openly LGBTQ player to play in the four major professional sports leagues. That’s why the 28-year-old still gets up at 5:00 a.m. every morning, spending at least four hours in the gym every day, keeping himself in shape for when the opportunity comes. He’s far from “wait[ing] for a call” either, he tells us. “I manifest it. I physically pursue it every day.”

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