NFL Player Ryan Russell and Boyfriend Corey O'Brien Share PDA During London Date
The former Dallas Cowboys player came out as bisexual in August
The 27-year-old NFL free agent and the dancer were spotted out in London on Saturday, enjoying an afternoon walk together hand-in-hand.
Russell — who came out as bisexual in August in an emotional first-person essay — and O’Brien both dressed chic and casual for their day on the town.
The former Dallas Cowboys player sported a camel peacoat, black pants, a dark hoodie, and black leather gloves while his boyfriend wore a grey overcoat, black pants, and a blush-colored button down.
The couple recently attended the Gay Times Honours 500 event Thursday, which according to Gay Times, aims to honor those who have had a “profound impact on the lives of LGBTQ people.”
At the ceremony, Russell was honored with the Sporting Hero award for coming out earlier this year and giving more LGBTQ representation in sports.
The NFL star, who most recently played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, shared his truth in an essay written for ESPN.
“Have I lied to teammates, coaches, trainers, front-office executives and fans about who I am? Not exactly,” Russell wrote in the essay. “But withholding information is a form of deceit. And I want the next part of my career — and life — steeped in trust and honesty.”
The athlete continued, “During the season you spend more time with your team than with your own family; truth and honesty are the cornerstones of a winning culture. My truth is that I’m a talented football player, a damn good writer, a loving son, an overbearing brother, a caring friend, a loyal lover, and a bisexual man.”
After the essay was published, Russell posted a YouTube video with his boyfriend on their new joint YouTube channel. The athlete also posted a photo with O’Brien on Instagram Thursday, captioning the photo with a poem that began “Love is faithful, Love is kind.”
In his own Instagram post, O’Brien wrote that he “couldn’t be more proud” of Russell for “speaking his truth as a player in the NFL and as my boyfriend.”
Also in his essay, Russell wrote, “Today, I have two goals: returning to the NFL, and living my life openly. I want to live my dream of playing the game I’ve worked my whole life to play, and being open about the person I’ve always been,” sharing that “there isn’t a single openly LGBTQ player in the NFL, NBA, Major League Baseball or the NHL.”
The star added, “I want to change that — for me, for other athletes who share these common goals, and for the generations of LGBTQ athletes who will come next.”
Russell concluded his essay by saying that he’s “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,” he wrote. “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.”