Ryan O'Callaghan said Patriots owner Robert Kraft told him, "I'm so proud of you," after O'Callaghan came out as gay in 2017.
Former Patriots offensive lineman Ryan O'Callaghan came out as gay in June 2017, and the Cal product recounted a call from New England owner Robert Kraft in his book My Life on the Line: How the NFL Damn Near Killed Me and Ended up Saving My Life, set for release in September.
"What you did took a lot of courage. I'm so proud of you," Ryan O'Callaghan recalled Kraft saying at a reception in 2017.
"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."
The former lineman also remembers a wave of support from Patriots players at the 2017 reception, including running back Kevin Faulk and wide receiver Deion Branch.
"I was an offensive lineman who was with the Patriots for only three seasons (2006-08)," O'Callaghan wrote. "It hits me how far I have come, how many lives I have affected both before and after I shared my story."
O'Callaghan played four NFL seasons before retiring in 2011. He played two seasons in New England in 2006 and 2007 before playing for the Chiefs in 2009 and 2010. O'Callaghan started seven games for the Patriots in two seasons.