Wade Davis, former defensive back for the Tennessee Titans, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins, revealed he is gay to Outsports.com this week, stating he did not discuss his sexual orientation during his playing career because he wanted to be known as a football player and not as a gay person.
Wade Davis, 34, told Outsports.com, “Me being a gay person wasn’t what I wanted to be known for,” he continued, “I don’t believe most NFL players have a problem with having a gay teammate. I do get the feeling they have to protect why they are. At the end of the day it’s a job, so all of these players have to make sure they’re in a certain type of light.”
Wade Davis now works as an advocate for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth in New York City at the Hetrick-Martin Institute.
“It’s the first job since football that I wake up excited for work,” Davis said. “For these kids, the question isn’t whether they are shooting a basketball well, it’s whether they have a place to sleep tonight, whether they’ve eaten today.”
Javon Kearse, a former teammate of Wade Davis, said that had he known before he wouldn’t have had a problem playing alongside a gay teammate.
“I know there have been a lot more than just Wade,” said Kearse. “It’s just becoming more acceptable, which is a good thing so they can come out and not feel secluded.”
Wade Davis acknowledges the difficulty in coming out as a gay athlete, telling SBNation.com, “I’ll be flat-out honest with you, it probably shouldn’t be if he wants to keep his job. If he’s a free agent who’s fighting for his job, maybe he shouldn’t. I don’t want to tell someone to give up their lifelong dream of playing in the NFL.”
“You know what? Yes, it should be. Screw it. I don’t want to be in the business of telling anyone they can’t live their life authentically,” said Wade Davis, correcting his previous statement.