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R.K. Russell


BA 2014, Sociology

NFL Player, Writer, and Producer (Los Angeles, CA)

R.K. Russell is a professional football player in the NFL, a social justice advocate, a published poet, an essayist, and an artist. In August of 2019, he made history by becoming the first out active NFL player to identify as bisexual. He's a decorated defensive end who has played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Russell dominated Hall of Famers and went up against the fiercest competitors at the height of their game. Since coming out, he's written about his experience as a Black queer man in sports for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Out Magazine, and Queer Majority, among others. R.K. has advocated for the LGBTQ+ community in professional sports, spearheading multiple NFL Pride initiatives such as the NFL Super Bowl LVI Pride panel and the NFL's National Coming Out Day PSA. He's been honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) by GAY TIMES (U.K.) as Sportsperson of the Year and was selected to the prestigious OUT 100 List in 2019. Now in 2022, he's signed a publishing deal with ESPN's Andscape for his memoir, The Yards Between Us, coming Summer 23, and became an Emmy-nominated producer for his short documentary, Finding Free, detailing his coming out experience.