Kansas City Chiefs trainer David Price said he was thrilled to hear that he had a positive impact on former NFL offensive lineman Ryan O'Callaghan, who recently came out in a story on Outsports.com after keeping his sexuality a secret during his playing career.
O'Callaghan noted that he had been abusing pain pills and had developed suicidal thoughts but on the recommendation of Price decided to see the team's psychologist after noticing that O'Callaghan wasn't himself.
"I was just elated, I mean on Cloud 9 that I had that much impact on somebody's life in a positive way," Price noted in an interview with TMZ Sports.
O’Callaghan told Cyd Zeigler of Outsports that football was his way of hiding his sexuality from others, and that "once football was over, he’d take a gun to his head and end it all. That was the deal, and he would hold himself to it."
"No one is going to assume the big football player is gay," O’Callaghan said. "It’s why a football team is such a good place to hide."
But in 2011, after a number of injuries and a trip to the injured reserve, O’Callaghan suspected his playing career was over. He began abusing painkillers, distanced himself from friends and family and even bought a cabin where he planned to eventually kill himself.
It was at that point in his life, while doing physical therapy at the Chiefs facility in the hopes of squeezing out one more NFL season in his career, that Price noticed a change in O’Callaghan and recommended he speak to clinical psychologist Susan Wilson.
Wilson would ultimately become the first person O’Callaghan would come out to, and she encouraged him to come out to his friends and family as well.
Price told TMZ he was proud of O’Callaghan for telling his story, not only "to share for himself but also for other individuals. I think that's what we're put here for, to not only help ourselves but to help other people."
"For him to be able to come forward like that, it not only makes him feel pretty good—besides myself—it helps a lot of other people out there," Price added.