The amount of NFL players that have come out as gay in the NFL is low. Besides Esera Tuol and Wade Davis, who came out after they retired and Michael Sam, an openly gay player who was drafted by the L.A.

Rams in 2014, coming out as gay in the NFL is rare. There is still somewhat of a stigma attached to LGBT men playing in professional sports, especially in the NFL. However, a former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chief player has come out today. According to Pro Football Talk, Ryan O’Callaghan revealed that he is gay in an interview with Outsports.

O’Callaghan’s years of hiding his sexual orientation

In 2006, the Patriots drafted Ryan O’Callaghan. He played in New England for three years before the Kansas City Chiefs signed him in 2009. He played in 51 NFL games. At six ft 7 inches and 330 pounds, he was hiding a secret that was even bigger. Nobody knew that he was gay. The pressure of being gay and hiding it was a struggle for the football player. He revealed many things to Cyd Ziegler of Outsports.

O’Callaghan pretended to be straight and tried to steer clear of conversations that pertained to women. O’Callaghan also avoided taking showers in the locker room by drinking coffee in the practice room after being on the field. He hated living a double life.

The ex-football player said that he started to formulate a suicide plan that he would carry out when he was done with football. He even bought a cabin in Kansas City, where he planned to take him life once his football career ended.

Painkiller addiction takes over

O’Callaghan also developed a painkiller addiction after having shoulder and groin injuries.

According to a recent article in the New York Post, the lineman was spending about $400 a week on drugs. The player was also using painkillers to deal with being gay. He did receive treatment for his addiction when he played for the Chiefs.

O’Callaghan also received counseling that seemed to help him handle his sexuality. Coming out to his counselor helped relieve the pressure.

He also came out to Scott Pioli, who used to be the general manager of the Chiefs. O’Callaghan was surprised by Pioli’s non-judgment and acceptance. Another weight was lifted off of him.

O’Callaghan retired from the NFL a few years ago. The athlete has found more of a purpose now and has even helped out at a local LGBT organization, where gay individuals can support one another. He wanted people to know that suicide is not the answer for managing one's feelings about being gay.

Hopefully, more NFL stars will come out as LGBT in the future and not have to lead a secret life.