Out professional athletes Jason
Collins, Billy Bean and Ryan O'Callaghan on Wednesday helped launch
NFL Pride, an affinity group for LGBT employees at the National
Football League (NFL).
According to Outsports.com,
a blog dedicated to LGBT athletes, roughly 150 people attended the
event in New York City, including NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and
other top NFL executives.
Collins, the National Basketball
Association's (NBA) first openly gay player, Bean, who came out after
retiring from Major League Baseball (MLB) and serves as the MLB's
first ambassador for inclusion, and O'Callaghan, a former NFL player
who recently came out, each spoke on how to create a more inclusive
environment in sports.
In coming out earlier this summer,
O'Callaghan, 33, said that he planned to kill himself after his
football career with the Kansas City Chiefs was over.
“My whole plan was to end my life
after football. I never planned on living. When I was done with
football, that was going to be it,” O'Callaghan
He added that he was coming forward
with his story to help others. “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.”
Two out NFL employees, John Cora and
Michael Castor, pitched the idea of creating an infinity group for
LGBT NFL employees to the league's Diversity Council. That meeting
led to Wednesday's launch.