NFL free-agent defensive end, Ryan Russell has penned a personal essay for ESPN in which he writes candidly about his identity as a bisexual male athlete.

According to the New York Times, “no other athletes in the four men’s professional sports leagues — the N.F.L., N.B.A., M.L.B., and N.H.L. — are openly bisexual or gay.” Not only that, the three-year NFL veteran is only the second active player to openly identify as LGBTQ.

“It’s so much better than hiding and holding it in and just kind of repressing myself,” Russell explained to the NYT, “I think the N.F.L. is definitely ready to accept an openly L.G.B.T.Q. player.”

Many prominent figures in the sports world and beyond have since commended Russell on his essay, including tennis legend, Billie Jean King.

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