Football (American) | I'm Gay | News | Sports | Wade Davis

Former NFL Player Wade Davis is Gay and Talking About it Publicly for the First Time: VIDEO


Wade Davis, a former player for the Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans, and Washington Redskins, is talking about the challenges of being gay in the NFL for the first time in a series of interviews with SB Nation and Outsports .

Says Davis: "There was a part of me that was a little relieved because, when I knew football was over, my life would begin. I had this football life, but I didn't have another life away from that. Most of the guys had a family and a wife, but I had football and nothing else."

Watch the interview with SB Nation, AFTER THE JUMP...

USA Today:

In interviews with OutSports and SBNation, Davis talked about the challenges of being closeted in an NFL locker room even as he grew close to heterosexual teammates like the Titans' Jevon Kearse and Samari Rolle.

"You just want to be one of the guys, and you don't want to lose that sense of family," Davis told OutSports. "Your biggest fear is that you'll lose that camaraderie and family. I think about how close I was with Jevon and Samari. It's not like they'd like me less, it's that they have to protect their own brand."

Davis now works with LGBT youth at the Hetrick Martin Institute.

Watch the interview with SB Nation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Great interview, Wade. Making us proud!

    Posted by: Robbie | Jun 5, 2012 1:04:24 PM

  2. Good for him. His working environment must have been very painful. I hope this is cathartic for him.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 5, 2012 1:04:45 PM

  3. Protect their own brand? Is that the ever-threatened brand of heterosexuality?

    Posted by: Jack M | Jun 5, 2012 1:05:37 PM

  4. I don't follow sports so I'd never heard of this guy, but I'm glad he's coming out. Having an NFL player or major athlete come out WHILE playing would be better, but that will happen eventually.

    He's also very well-spoken, which confronts some of my own stereotypes. No, not a racial stereotype but of male athletes, "jocks," who don't often come across as the sharpest tools in the shed. Growing up that was who gave me the hardest time so I have an almost instinctive dislike of the type.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 5, 2012 1:07:55 PM

  5. Well, Rick, what do you make of Mr Davis?

    A traditionally masculine Gay man who not only accepts gender role non-conforming Gay folks, but also tries to help them in coping with life--especially when they're young and vulnerable.

    If I ever met Mr Wade Davis I'd say, "thank you". Thank you on behalf of all of us sissies, butch kings, drag queens and transfolk who may have thought that all "normal acting" Gay men were misogynistic, narrow minded pieces of sh....well, just, thanks for helping me see that's not the case.

    What do you say, Rick?

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 5, 2012 1:13:00 PM

  6. You mean playing football didn't turn him straight?!?

    Posted by: jimstoic | Jun 5, 2012 1:14:42 PM

  7. Good for him. Regardless of what some say on here and elsewhere, it takes guts for people who have a lot to lose to 'come out'.

    As for the brand thing, what will it take to get kids and adults to grow up and stop being so easily manipulated by marketing techniques and how they revolve around breaking people down [making them feel inferior, insecure] then building them up by telling them they'll be cool, popular, and chicks will dig you if you buy this or that? This works on all people, from all socioeconomic classes, but it's especially irritating and sad to me to see 'poor' people, kids, who really can't afford to spend $ on the latest sneakers,clothes, etc. being so manipulated and suckered.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2012 1:46:30 PM

  8. everyone who comes out has the same thing(s) "to lose"

    it's a lie told by closet cases that some people have "more to lose" than others. we're all in it together.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 1:55:06 PM

  9. Now that I'm remembering--it shouldn't surprise me that Gay men like Wade Davis would be so open-minded.

    In highschool it wasn't the masculine closeted Gays (who I had no clue about) who were vicious bashers of feminine guys (even though they wouldn't come near me with a ten foot pole--they weren't joining the Gay bashers against me). It was the b.tches who couldn't "pass" for straight themselves who were the most ruthless.

    "Just because he's Gay doesn't mean he has to be so obvious about it--wearing makeup and acting like a girl," they'd say with the strongest syllabant "s" in their speech sound you ever heard. And the straight b.astards calling them f.ggots as well as me.

    So, no, it doesn't surprise me that when a man like Wade Davis comes out of the closet he has no prejudice against transgender folk. It's the ones who are unsure about their own masculinity who hate transfolk. Evil mean b.tches.

    Sorry, I'm having a bitter ol' queen full of self-pity moment. I've earned it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 5, 2012 1:59:53 PM

  10. @Little Canadian,

    If you had millions of dollars riding on your 'brand', and you most likely came from a poor, working class or at best middle class background, you'd think twice.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jun 5, 2012 2:02:45 PM

  11. nope. because unlike some people i don't delude myself with some bogus b.s. that my "circumstances" make me more special than anyone else.

    "oh, i cant' come out, i have a million dollar brand to represent"

    excuses people give before their balls drop.

    you will always get rather pathetic adults who lie to themselves and pretend that their excuses for being closeted are justified. they're not.

    and derrick, you're spot-on: the folks hate in others what they're repressing in themselves.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 2:06:58 PM

  12. Hubba hubba

    Posted by: Jeff in DC | Jun 5, 2012 2:35:14 PM

  13. What a lovely human being. Thank you Mr. Davis for spreading your light.

    And it's nice to see that SB Nation (at least to my eyes) is a mainstream sports network.

    Posted by: David R. | Jun 5, 2012 2:45:43 PM

  14. Fortunate to know him through flag football in NYC. Not only an amazing person, but one of the funniest people on the planet.

    Posted by: Rich | Jun 5, 2012 2:56:24 PM

  15. @Derrick

    What I make of Mr. Davis is that he is a fine role model for young gay men, demonstrating to them--as he emphasized--that they CAN excel in football and other masculine pursuits, despite the attempts of the society-at-large and--unfortunately--the attempts of other gay men (via the prevailing woman-focused gay culture) to convince them that they can't because being gay is incompatible with masculinity.

    I did not hear him endorse effeminacy or say that he though it was OK--he simply described the broad mission of the organization he lends his time to.

    And he made it implicitly clear that the reason he was able to be accepted by other players was that he did NOT do anything that would jeopardize his relationships with them--(i.e. he exhibited the normal masculine standards of behavior or he would hot have been accepted)....and he suggests that other gay athletes do the same (which is entirely consistent with my point-of-view).

    You kind of contradict yourself when you talk about the bashing you got in high school coming from other queens, but not from more masculine gay men. That just reinforces what I have pointed out--namely that no man who is masculinely deficient will ever be proud of himself and he will always try to drag other gays down to his level of low self-esteem, which you see effeminate guys on this site constantly trying to do with more masculine gays.

    The lack of self-respect that is a consequence of effeminacy and masculine-deficiency is punishment enough, in itself.

    Hopefully, however, role models like Wade Davis will demonstrate to young gay men that masculinity and homosexuality are not only compatible, but that the only route to happiness is to embrace both as natural behaviors--and to discard the self-destructive behavior that the culture of effeminacy represents and encourages.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 5, 2012 2:59:48 PM

  16. if the "only route to happiness" is do what Rick says then why is Rick such a pathetic miserable closet-case?

    you show me a man who denigrates and demeans gender-nonconformists and i'll show you a cowardly excuse for a gay man who never grew the balls to stand up to his piece-of-s**t parents.

    no man who is actually masculine insults guys who exist or embody different aspects of the perceived masc-femme spectrum.

    only insecure cowardly men who are terrified of straight people do that.

    as of now, not a single "i hate femmes" guy on this site has ever been able to put a face to their statements.

    Alex, I'll take "things closeted coward say" for $1,000.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 3:09:57 PM

  17. Oh and, by the way, he did not come out until AFTER he retired from the NFL, so those who are trying to make him somehow more "courageous" for doing so than current NFL players--and trying to cast the others as "cowards" who are "making excuses" for not coming out while still active players might take note.

    Granted, not that many retired NFL players have come out, either, but some of those are in positions where doing so could still hurt their careers (as broadcasters, for example) or for whom doing so could have a seriously negative impact on their ability to be elected to the Hall of Fame, the waiting period for which is quite long.

    Davis is neither Hall of Fame material nor employed in a position where coming out could still hurt him, so that undoubtedly made it easier for him to come out than for a lot of others to.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 5, 2012 3:13:24 PM

  18. to reiterate - no masculine gay men have a problem with gender-nonconformists.

    only insecure gay men who need to put on an act are the ones who criticize others. they hate in others what they're too cowardly to embrace in themselves.

    if i was wrong about this then the Rick's of the world would be putting a face and name to their complaints. but they can't.

    it's the pot calling the kettle sparking-pink in a frilly tutu.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Jun 5, 2012 3:17:02 PM

  19. "You kind of contradict yourself when you talk about the bashing you got in high school coming from other queens, but not from more masculine gay men. That just reinforces what I have pointed out--namely that no man who is masculinely deficient will ever be proud of himself and he will always try to drag other gays down to his level of low self-esteem, which you see effeminate guys on this site constantly trying to do with more masculine gays"

    No, no, no, Rick. I'm saying that many Gay men who decry the "rampant effeminacy" among Gay males often were never "unclockable" themselves--that is to say they had some mannerisms/speech sounds that were perceived as effeminate.

    And having those traits is all right UNLESS you can't deal with it, and you begin to attack other Gays who never thought about getting into any closet.

    These phonies DID NOT SEE THEMSELVES AS FEMININE. They never identified with the feminine--and they were dishonest... or f.ckin' blind when looking in a mirror.

    And remember, I'm talking about teenage Gay people here. When you get older you can tell closeted homosexuals to go jump off a cliff. And praise the Lord, that's what I did.

    It's similar to an anti-Black lynch mob in the 20th Century. Some members of the mob were actually "passing" for White. The ones "passing" would be the most vicious--trying to prove their Whiteness by displaying the most violence and hatred. Well, some closeted homosexuals used to use the same strategy...some still do.

    The main thing is being honest with yourself. Some of us were blessed with that honesty at an early age...but, boy ol' boy, we paid for it.

    Rick, I'm saying that a Gay man who is truly comfortable with his masculinity wouldn't give a hoot about "correcting" people like me. (and you better not try it, Miss Thaing)

    Rick said, "Oh, and, by the way, he did not come out until AFTER he retired from the NFL..."

    Yes, and look what he decided to do with his life since coming out: help young Gay people...with his emphasis on helping those who could never be in any closet even if they tried.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 5, 2012 3:54:50 PM

  20. Not understanding the controversy. The large majority of gay men are masculine or just like any other dude, they just don't scream as loud as the effeminate minority. Therefdore,the complete false stereotyping of gay men. But at the end of day, live let live. Be who you want to be. Everyone deserves respect.

    Posted by: RLK | Jun 5, 2012 4:09:10 PM

  21. Sorry, RLK,

    I shouldn't have brought the issue up (it's as old as Zsa Zsa on this blog). But I was so impressed with Mr Davis' work with transgender Gay kids (which means an acceptance) that I had to "scream loud" about it.

    I hope that "large majority of gay men" who you say are masculine are also comfortable with their manhood to the point where they can give that effeminate minority the respect you say we deserve. If they can't then they don't have the same kind of manhood that Mr Davis does.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jun 5, 2012 4:46:21 PM

  22. @Derrick from Philly
    Bravo. I love when you wax so eloquent in defense of effeminate gays. I have a particular respect for effeminate gays because I love the underdog and they have it harder than those of us who "pass" without trying. I prefer to be the way that I am and if I were effeminate I hope I would have the strength to prefer that me. Anything less is self-loathing.

    "I did not hear him endorse effeminacy..."
    "He made it implicitly clear..."
    How come you can read so much implication into what he says when you think that implication implies a lack of respect for effeminacy (Which I don't see even in what you have writen but assume you believe because that is your point - if one gives such advice it does not mean one is happy that doing so is necessary. It seems that he came out so that effeminate gays can play football if they please, in one way of looking at it. He is trying to make being gay O.K. no matter how masculine you are.) but you don't see implication which is actually right there. He didn't volunteer to work for an org. he disagreed with their goals. That would be more crazy than myself. NO; you volunteer to support a cause you believe in. He is clearly explicitly supporting transgender youth. He can not but by implication accept them. Is it not so?

    Thank you for pointing out that he has a lot less to lose than almost anyone else directly related to sports. It is a lot easier for him to come out now than a lot earlier when he had a career to protect and the environment was a lot less welcoming. You highlight the fact that those of us who came out at an earlier date paved the way for those who have come out much more recently. I, who came out in the mid-eighties appreciate that you recognize what I have contirbuted to a later generation. :)
    I believe you would be more popular with some of us if you appeared to give him more credit just for coming out - which is hard enough to do for anyone even if it is easier for some in their position than others.

    Posted by: NullNaught | Jun 5, 2012 5:08:19 PM

  23. "The main thing is being honest with yourself. Some of us were blessed with that honesty at an early age...but, boy ol' boy, we paid for it."

    The thing is, I don't think you ARE being honest with yourself, Derrick. I think you have internalized the idea that homosexuality and masculinity are incompatible, the idea that is drilled into most of us when we are young--perhaps not as much so as it once was, but still. Whether you did so consciously or not, you still did......and I personally believe that that is what has led you--and what leads other gay men--to model your behavior on women rather than on men.

    And I regard it as a tragic consequence of our oppression.

    I understand your resistance to that idea, because agreeing with it would mean a great deal of difficult self-examination.

    But I don't believe you are happy. I really don't. Any more than I think any man who deprives himself of his natural masculinity can ever be happy.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 5, 2012 5:29:06 PM

  24. "It seems that he came out so that effeminate gays can play football if they please"

    No. In the first place, effeminate gays are not ever going to play football--if they did, then they would not be effeminate, would they?--so that is a contradiction in terms.

    You, like many, are trying to equate being gay with being effeminate, when it isn't.

    Guys like this are demonstrating to young gay men that their sexuality and masculinity are totally compatible and by his very existence is encouraging them to embrace that idea.

    Plain as day.

    Posted by: Rick | Jun 5, 2012 5:34:59 PM

  25. @ RICK: you live in a strange binary world. In the reality-based world, very little is "plain as day".

    Posted by: David R. | Jun 5, 2012 5:44:24 PM

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