Sweet stuff

Newly out NFL player Ryan Russell posts love poem to boyfriend and… wow

Ryan Russell and Chris O’Brien on their YouTube channel

Put your hand up if you’d like a hunky, sensitive NFL level playing boyfriend; A man who’s so smitten with you that he feels compelled to come out; Who then takes to social media to post love poems about growing old with you?

Yes, we’re officially feeling a little envious. Last week, NFL free agent Ryan Russell, 27, came out as bisexual.

Related: “Ryan Russell might be the first out bisexual man to play in the NFL” 

He wrote a candid essay for ESPN about being a bi male athlete.

At the same time, he introduced the world to his boyfriend, Los Angeles-based dancer Corey O’Brien. The two have just launched their own YouTube channel. Russell describes himself on it as a football player and writer.

Russell has received a flood of supportive messages since his ESPN essay. And now he’s out, he’s clearly not going to keep quiet about his feelings for O’Brien.

Yesterday he took to Instagram to post what’s clearly a love poem to his man.

I need to write more when I’m in love.
I need to stop holding your hand on these long Malibu walks
And write more.
I need to stop staring deeply into your eyes across the dinner table
And write more.
I need to stop watching you dance through the night
And write more.
I need to take a longer break between kisses,
Pull out my journal
And write more.
I need to stop thinking about how I’m going to make you mine.
And write more.
I need to stop planning our future together
And write more.
I need to stop imagining you holding our son
And write more.
I need to stop smiling at the thought of us
Old and gray, hand in hand,
And write more.

He tagged O’Brien at the end of the post. How sweet is that?

Whether you’re a fan of such public displays of affection or not, we hope other closeted athletes are watching and taking note – as well as all those sports-loving kids who look up to them.

Related: “This NFL player says there’s at least one gay on every pro football team” 

Russell was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, and then played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2016 and 2017. He was signed by the Buffalo Bills in 2018 but his season was cut short by surgery.

He’s currently a free agent and looking to get signed by a new team, writing in ESPN, “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.”

Here’s hoping he’s back on the field soon. And that we get to see plenty more of him and O’Brien.