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R.K. Russell

R.K. Russell

Keynote Speaker: Former NFL Football Player, Social Justice Advocate, Published Poet, Essayist & Artist

R.K. Russell Biography

R. K. Russell is a former NFL football player, a social justice advocate, published poet, essayist, and artist. In August of 2019, Russell made history by becoming the first out active NFL player to identify as bisexual. A decorated defensive end who has played for the Dallas Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he has sacked Hall of Famers and gone up against the fiercest competitors at the height of their game.

Since coming out, he has written about his experience as a Black queer man in sports for The New York Times, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, Out Magazine, and Queer Majority, among others. Russell has been advocating for the LGBTQ+ community in professional sports, spearheading multiple NFL Pride initiatives such as the NFL Pride panel and the NFL’s National Coming Out Day PSA. He has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) by GAY TIMES (U.K.) as Sportsperson of the Year, and he was selected to the prestigious OUT 100 List in 2019.

His short documentary, Finding Free, was nominated for best short documentary at the 43rd Annual Sports Emmys and won awards at the 2022 Webby Awards, the 60th New York Film Festival, and the 43rd Annual Telly Awards. His new memoir, "The Yards Between Us," is available everywhere books are sold. He lives in Los Angeles.

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R.K. Russell Speaking Topics

The Yards Between Us: Belonging Through Life, Love, and Football

“I worried that a young man who wrote poetry, drew pictures, and enjoyed slow songs about love would be seen as less masculine and, therefore, less of a football player. Being actually queer seemed like an instant, irreversible verdict on my belonging, on my right to exist in the male world of football.”

in this powerful talk, former the former NFL Defensive End shares his story and explores his love of football, men and women, walking the devastating tightrope of keeping his sexuality secret, the tension between his private and public lives, and the importance of crashing through barriers.

Through being cut, injured, and frustrating setbacks, Russell’s confidence lags as the secret of his sexuality weighs heavier and heavier. And when that frustration is combined with the devastating loss of his best friend and sole confidant, the darkness that follows also brings a deep understanding that perhaps it’s time to make a change. In Los Angeles, against the backdrop of the swaying palm trees and warm sands of Malibu, Russell falls in love and it’s the final push he needs to stand up for every part of himself—a professional athlete, a writer, a son, a friend, a lover, a bisexual Black man. R.K. Russell shows us the life-changing power of embracing who you are and fighting to make space so others can do the same.

R.K. Russell Videos

Ryan Russell Pride 2022 Keynote Q & A
Ryan Russell On How Culture Of Youth Sports Can Stop Young LGBTQ Athletes
Ryan Russell at the 23rd Annual HRC National Dinner

How do I book R.K. Russell to speak at my event?

Our experienced booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure speakers like R.K. Russell for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment since 2002. Click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page to check availability for R.K. Russell, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get speaking fee information and check availability for R.K. Russell or any other speaker of your choice.

How much does it cost to book R.K. Russell for a speaking engagement?

Speaking fees for R.K. Russell, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. The estimated fees to book R.K. Russell are $30,000 - $50,000 for live events and $30,000 - $50,000 for virtual events. For the most current speaking fee to hire R.K. Russell, click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak directly with an experienced booking agent.

What topics does R.K. Russell speak about?

R.K. Russell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as Football, Sports, Athlete, Sports Motivation, LGBTQ, Diversity & Inclusion, Black Heritage, Mental Health, Belonging and DEI.

Where does R.K. Russell travel from?

R.K. Russell generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances.

Who is the agent for R.K. Russell?

AAE Speakers Bureau has successfully secured keynote speakers like R.K. Russell for clients worldwide since 2002. As a full-service speaker booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Please click the Check Schedule button above and complete the form on this page including the details of your event, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book R.K. Russell for your next private or corporate function.

What is a full-service speaker booking agency?

AAE Speakers Bureau is a full-service speaker booking agency, meaning we can completely manage the speaker’s or celebrity’s engagement with your organization from the time of booking your speaker through the event’s completion. We provide all of the services you need to host R.K. Russell or any other speaker of your choice, including offer negotiation, contractual assistance, accounting and billing, and event speaker travel and logistics services. When you book a speaker with us, we manage the process of hosting a speaker for you as an extension of your team. Our goal is to give our clients peace of mind and a best-in-class service experience when booking a speaker with us.

Why is AAE Speakers Bureau different from other booking agencies?

If you’re looking for the best speaker recommendations, paired with a top-notch customer service experience, you’re in the right place. At AAE Speakers Bureau, we exclusively represent the interests of our clients - professional organizations, companies, universities, and associations. We intentionally do not represent the speakers we feature or book. That is so we can present our clients with the broadest and best performing set of speaker options in the market today, and we can make these recommendations without any obligation to promote a specific speaker over another. This is why when our agents suggest a speaker for your event, you can be assured that they are of the highest quality with a history of proven success with our other clients.


R.K. Russell is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics including Football, Sports and Athlete. The estimated speaking fee range to book R.K. Russell for live events is $30,000 - $50,000, and for virtual events $30,000 - $50,000. R.K. Russell generally travels from Los Angeles, CA, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Chris Mosier, Jason Collins and Wade Davis. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling R.K. Russell for an upcoming event.

Speaker profile last updated by AAE Talent Team on 01/03/2024.

R.K. Russell Speaking Topics

  • The Yards Between Us: Belonging Through Life, Love, and Football

    “I worried that a young man who wrote poetry, drew pictures, and enjoyed slow songs about love would be seen as less masculine and, therefore, less of a football player. Being actually queer seemed like an instant, irreversible verdict on my belonging, on my right to exist in the male world of football.”

    in this powerful talk, former the former NFL Defensive End shares his story and explores his love of football, men and women, walking the devastating tightrope of keeping his sexuality secret, the tension between his private and public lives, and the importance of crashing through barriers.

    Through being cut, injured, and frustrating setbacks, Russell’s confidence lags as the secret of his sexuality weighs heavier and heavier. And when that frustration is combined with the devastating loss of his best friend and sole confidant, the darkness that follows also brings a deep understanding that perhaps it’s time to make a change. In Los Angeles, against the backdrop of the swaying palm trees and warm sands of Malibu, Russell falls in love and it’s the final push he needs to stand up for every part of himself—a professional athlete, a writer, a son, a friend, a lover, a bisexual Black man. R.K. Russell shows us the life-changing power of embracing who you are and fighting to make space so others can do the same.

R.K. Russell Videos

Ryan Russell Pride 2022 Keynote Q & A
Ryan Russell On How Culture Of Youth Sports Can Stop Young LGBTQ Athletes
Ryan Russell at the 23rd Annual HRC National Dinner
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