By Ken Reed
Ryan O’Callaghan believed he could never share his secret with anyone. He had decided he would rather end his life than share his secret and risk the rejection of people he cared about.
His secret? Ryan O’Callaghan is gay.
Fortunately, thanks to a Kansas City Chiefs trainer, an astute psychologist and Scott Pioli, the Chiefs GM at the time, O’Callaghan made the decision to accept himself and be true to himself in public.
O’Callaghan was terrified to share his secret with psychologist Susan Wilson. He had never told anyone about his sexuality. Wilson finally built up enough trust that O’Callaghan opened up to her.
“It took a while to build up that strength to even tell her,” O’Callaghan said. “You have to build up trust with someone. Just telling her was like a huge weight off my shoulders.”
Wilson then convinced him to reach out to Pioli.
“People like me are supposed to react a certain way, I guess,” Pioli, now an executive with the Falcons, told Outsports.
“I wasn’t minimizing what he was telling me, but I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. He built this up and built this up to the point where he said he was nearly suicidal. What Ryan didn’t know is how many gay people I’ve had in my life.”
O’Callaghan is now at peace and living in his home town of Redding, California. He’s sharing his story and helping people.
“As long as there are people killing themselves because they are gay, there is a reason for people like me to share my story and try to help,” says Callaghan.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site. We discuss his experience at the MLB game at Field of Dreams; his thoughts on the appeal of the Field of Dreams, and baseball in general.
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Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Episode #11 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Latest on Brain Trauma, Concussions and CTE with Dr. Chris Nowinski – Nowinski is CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation.
Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO.
Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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