Professional Athletes Who Have Been Open About Being Part Of The LGBTQ+ Community

Sports | 9/4/19

Did you know there has never been an openly gay player in the NHL as of 2019? It’s a well-known fact that there isn’t a lot of representation for the LGBTQ community in professional sports, whether it’s the NBA, MLB, NFL, WWE — there is a serious lacking in openly gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual or queer professional athletes.

There is a definite stigma around LGBTQ professional athletes, especially in men’s professional sports, but there are a handful of athletes that have been open about their sexuality, whether that’s during or after their careers.

Ryan Russell

Ryan Russell NFL
Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Photo Credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images

In August 2019, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Ryan Russell wrote a personal essay for ESPN coming out as bi-sexual, and according to the New York Times he’s the only active bi-sexual or gay male athlete in all professional sports league (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA.)

In his essay, Russell wrote that he believes the NFL is ready to accept openly LGBTQ players and he said he’s ready to be honest about who he is as a person. Russell is currently a free agent and hopes to return to the NFL.