Image - Former NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan

Past Event

Former NFL Player Ryan O'Callaghan: My Life on the Line

Openly LGBT athletes in elite American sports are rare. In the past few years, a number of current and former professional soccer players have come out, and openly gay assistant coaches have made history in the NFL and in Major League Baseball. But no current NFL player has come out. Why? What are the hurdles to overcome? How will teammates, the league, the fans and the media respond?

Join us for an in-depth discussion with former NFL offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan, who kept his sexuality secret during his time in professional sports and lived in fear of being discovered.

O’Callaghan grew up in Redding, CA, where he earned a full ride football scholarship to the University of California. After entering the NFL draft out of college, O’Callaghan played in the NFL for six seasons for the New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs. After retiring from football in 2012, O’Callaghan gained the courage to be honest with himself and then the world about his sexuality and came out as gay. He wrote about his life in his 2019 memoir, My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life.

Today, O’Callaghan shares his story with the hopes of encouraging others to be themselves and not let their sexuality get in the way of following their dreams.

April 7, 2020

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States

Image - O'Callaghan

Ryan O'Callaghan

Former NFL Player, New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs; Author, My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended Up Saving My Life

Image - Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, "The Michelle Meow Show" (radio, podcast and KBCW TV); Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors

Image - Zipperer

John Zipperer

Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club


6 p.m. check-in
6:30 p.m. program
7:30 p.m. book signing