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Most recent NFL player to come out as gay played for Chiefs

LGBTSNF: LGBT storylines from Chiefs at Texans.

The Players' Tribune Hosts Players' Night Out 2017
Ryan O’Callaghan, a former offensive lineman with the Patriots and Chiefs, came out as gay in June.
Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images for The Players' Tribune

Each week we’ll be taking a look at the NFL teams involved in the Sunday Night Football game and track their record — team, coaches and players — on LGBT issues.

This week, the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs travel to Houston to play the 2-2 Texans. Here are the LGBT angles for the game this week.

  • The most recent NFL player to come out as gay — Ryan O’Callaghan — finished his career with the Chiefs, after starting with the New England Patriots.
  • O’Callaghan, who had contemplated suicide, credits two people with ties to the Chiefs with saving his life.

While methodically sabotaging his own life, O’Callaghan was going to physical therapy at the Chiefs facility. He still clung to a small glimmer of hope that he might have one more season in the league. There the team’s head trainer, David Price, noticed O’Callaghan was not himself, suddenly acting erratically.

Price encouraged O’Callaghan to spend some time with Susan Wilson, a clinical psychologist who worked with the Chiefs and the NFL counseling players on drug abuse.

  • Another member of the Chiefs’ organization, then-General Manager Scott Pioli, was instrumental in O’Callaghan’s accepting his being gay. The two have stayed close.
  • The Houston Texans also have an LGBT connection. Star wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has a lesbian sister. Hopkins said he would embrace an openly gay Texan. “I would be more than happy, I would greet them with open arms. They're my teammates, that doesn't make them any different.”

Outsports prediction for the game: Texans 27, Chiefs 20. Kansas City has been playing great football but the Chiefs head into Houston on a short week, facing an excellent defense and a rookie QB Deshaun Watson who has been electrifying the past two weeks. This is a hunch pick that says the Texans shine on national TV and defeat the league’s only unbeaten team.