Openly gay former offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan has the distinction of blocking for two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks. With the New England Patriots he played with Tom Brady, and in college with the California Golden Bears he played with Aaron Rodgers.

It was the latter whom O’Callaghan knew best, ever since the two were competitors in high school in Northern California. Rodgers opened up about his former buddy and teammate in an ESPN interview released today.

"I'm incredibly proud of him," Rodgers told Mina Kimes. "I know he had a lot of fear about it, and how he would be accepted, and how people would change around him.

“I think society is finally moving in the right direction, as far as treating all people with respect and love and acceptance and appreciation. And the locker room, I think the sport is getting closer."

Rodgers added that the lack of job security in the NFL undermines the willingness of some athletes to come out. While he didn’t mention Michael Sam by name, he said that you can get cut for any reason “with people saying: 'Well, it's because you can't play'."

Rodgers has been the subject of speculation himself over the years, denying he’s gay several years ago.