Ryan O’Callaghan when he played for New England, left, and today

Ryan O’Callaghan, a former lineman for the world champion New England Patriots and later the Kansas City Chiefs, has come out as a gay man, and says he believes that the NFL is ready for openly gay active players.

O’Callaghan told OutSports.com that he had wrestled with his sexuality throughout his NFL career and that he used football “as kind of my cover for my life.” He also said that he had planned on committing suicide when his pro career ended, because he couldn’t imagine a life as a gay man without football as his “beard.”

He had written a note and had a cabin full of guns waiting on him. But, he said, the Chiefs trainer, David Price, realized something was wrong and encouraged O’Callaghan to speak to the team’s counselor, Susan Wilson. Wilson told O’Callaghan that before he killed himself, maybe he should find out if he “needed” to kill himself. So O’Callaghan came out to his family and friends, and their acceptance changed his life.

Read O’Callaghan’s complete interview with OutSports.com here, and watch the SB Nation video of him telling his story below.

O’Callaghan story breaks at the same time that word comes the NFL is considering taking all Texas locations out of consideration for hosting the next draft or future Super Bowls because state lawmakers are set to consider a “bathroom bill” that would prohibit transgender people from using the appropriate public restroom facilities.

Kind of blows all kinds of holes in Dan Patrick’s claim that a bathroom bill would’t hurt the state, don’t it?