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Ex-Patriot Ryan O’Callaghan talked about Robert Kraft’s support after coming out as gay

Ryan O’Callaghan at Patriots practice in 2006.
Ryan O’Callaghan at Patriots practice in 2006.

When former Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O’Callaghan came out as gay in 2017, he received support from his old team. One person whose support made a particular impression was Robert Kraft.

“What you did took a lot of courage,” Kraft told O’Callaghan. “I’m so proud of you.”

In a new book due out in September, O’Callaghan discusses his life story, including the treatment he received from former teammates after coming out. The book, “My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me, and Ended up Saving My Life,” includes a moment when O’Callaghan was invited to a Patriots ring ceremony in 2017.

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At the event, he was invited into Kraft’s office.

“Spending a few minutes privately with Mr. Kraft in his office is surreal,” O’Callaghan wrote in his book. “It’s just him and me, with a couple hundred people outside his office door.”

“I never got that treatment when I was on his payroll,” O’Callaghan continued. “For [Kraft], who opens up to me about a gay friend, I am the most important person in the world in those few moments. Given where I have been in the previous dozen years, he is equally the most important person in the world for me right then and there.”

O’Callaghan played for the Patriots from 2006-2008, retiring from the NFL in 2011. In his book, he chronicled how he struggled and contemplated suicide once he was done with football. He credited — among other people — former Patriots general manager Scott Pioli for helping to save him.


Follow Hayden Bird on Twitter @haydenhbird.