David Tyree | Football (American) | News | Sports | Wade Davis

David Tyree To Wade Davis: 'I Would Support A Gay Player'

WadeThe newly named director of player development for the New York Giants, David Tyree, a former National Organization for Marriage (NOM) spokesman who has a history of making anti-gay remarks, reportedly told Wade Davis, Executive Director of The You Can Play Project, he would support “any player on the Giants who identified as gay, in any way [he] could.” According to NBC Sports, Davis shared Tyree's disclosure on his blog, TheMMQB.com. Davis, a former NFL player himself, recently opened up about his experience living in the closet while being a professional football player. 

Towleroad readers will remember that Tyree attracted attention for his remarks on marriage equality, saying equality would signal “the beginning of our country sliding toward…anarchy” and that it would “be the moment our society loses its grip with what is right.” A previous advocate for gay conversion therapy, Tyree also once said that, "I don't want my kids to think homosexuals are normal.” 

TyreeDavis says he has engaged in an extended conversation with Tyree, one he says suggests that Tyree has already changed his views on many issues having to do with the LGBT community. Davis admits that he was not at first inclined to cut Tyree any slack for his previous anti-gay remarks. However, upon meeting Tyree at an event to educate players, coaches and management on LGBT issues, Davis was caught off guard by how he was greeted:

He approached me, introduced himself, offered his hand and said, “I want you to know I really respect what you do.” After having the opportunity to speak with David, I realized he is on a journey when it comes to understanding the LGBT community. He is evolving. Just as my mother did. Just as some of our most well-known supporters did. Just as I did.

During the current media firestorm surrounding Giants’ hiring of David, I paused to reflect on my initial resistance toward him and asked myself, Can we create the space for all individuals to evolve? […]

6a00d8341c730253ef01a3fd37ca54970b-300wiLet me be very clear: I am not defending the hurtful things David said in the past. Nor am I saying his journey is complete. I am strongly defending his right, his ability, and most importantly his apparent willingness to grow as a person. And I will be working closely with him to help him along on this journey. I am hopeful that the outcome will be a positive one.

I spoke with David last night, and he asked me to quote him in this piece. He said, “My interactions with Wade over the past few months are much more representative of my current beliefs toward the gay community than some tweets from several years ago. Christianity teaches us love, compassion, and respect for our fellow man, and it is in that light that I will continue to work with Wade and others to better serve the gay community. I would absolutely support any player on the Giants who identified as gay, in any way I could. And I will continue to stay in touch with Wade to ensure I am aware of the right ways to do that.”

As I come to learn more about David and begin a deeper friendship with him, I’m going to talk to him about the serious and vile treatment that is conversion therapy—of which he has been a vocal proponent—and how those words have been the source of destruction for many LGBT individuals. But those honest and productive conversations can’t be had without first building a foundation for a relationship to rest on [...] We will be able to talk about how to support LGBT players. We will be able to talk about how his faith encourages him to be loving and inclusive of the LGBT community. We will be able to talk about why the things he has said were so hurtful to so many people. We will, simply put, be able to talk to each other despite our differences. And we will be able to support each other as we continue to do the most important work, the work that we must do on ourselves.

You can read Davis' full post on Tyree HERE

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  1. Wade Davis is a disgrace. Tyree was an active member of a hate group. And he's not sorry.

    Posted by: hugo_bess | Jul 26, 2014 12:17:15 PM

  2. Has so much ever been written about our/gays' right to have equal esteem in the law and in society ?.......so much wrenching of consciences and 'strongly held religious beliefs' about what should be 'self evident'.

    These oafs were told centuries ago in explicit terms that equality was a self evident truth.
    Now they all want to pretend they are 'evolving' and make a formal show of their magnanimity .........as if their original bigotry was anything but vicious hatred.

    Well you can all keep your patronizing condescension......we know what you are; we have seen what you are; we have watched your 'toe tapping'; and your young boy carrying your suit case (Rekkers); and Melman we have seen your 'evolving' from Republican anti-gay strategist.......

    The hypocrisy of all of you fools no one.

    This lady's not for turning.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Jul 26, 2014 12:17:56 PM

  3. Wade Davis as an advisor for Rick Santorum's campaign?

    Posted by: hugo_bess | Jul 26, 2014 12:23:47 PM

  4. Blah, blah, blah.

    These guys are using Michael Sam to now do all this 'work'.


    Posted by: Rowan | Jul 26, 2014 12:37:19 PM

  5. Really, it's 2014!

    How many more people have to "evolve" on this issue?

    I say, enough of these back handed apologies (No I didn't mean it, I'm eeeevolving, I respect you BS) when personal economics become involved.

    As we used to say 'The "gay" is here to stay, get used to it."

    For 40+ years I have heard the "christian" perspective pounded into the news on this issue and not one prediction has come true.

    No great fall of civilization. No straight marriage affected. Period. Nothing.

    However, what I have seen is hypocritical positions from the church (meaning "christians") in regards to the priest coverups and a number of other religious scandals on the level of Ted Haggard, etc... blah, blah, blah.

    The religious right and identified republicans would not have jobs or an existence if they couldn't predict something horrible in the world will happen very day in the news, if the simple acceptance of gay marriage happens or if a gay plays in the NFL. Ugh.

    Remember, this man also took a very public position with his comments, and for an organization (NOM) that simply promotes hate. Saying that he also support conversion therapy because he doesn't want his kids to think being gay is Ok? Really? What if who is peaching to, (meaning his kids, or nephews, or fill in the blank) eventually grows up only to discover that he or she is gay. Is he going to stop loving him or her?

    And if he did, wouldn't that be very "christian" of him?

    News Flash Mr Tyree: Gays will play football and every other sport and the world will not fall apart. They also are not waiting for your acceptance.

    Posted by: Will G. | Jul 26, 2014 12:50:31 PM

  6. David Tyree does not belong in the NFL. Period. As long as he is there the NYGiants will be shunned. That means no money for tickets, jerseys, and the loss of television revenue from the lack of viewers who refuse to watch a team so bigoted they would hire someone like David Tyree as a director of any player development. The guy is a bigot not matter how much spin they try to put on it and they aren't going to convince anyone he isn't.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Jul 26, 2014 12:59:18 PM

  7. Wade Davis is such a pathetic little pussy. He is so desperate to be accepted ! He is too old to still be playing this game !

    Everyone else can see this Tyree loser is telling us what he wants us to hear so we will leave him alone and let him keep his new, lucrative job. He hasn't changed.

    Unfortunately Davis is typical of the black people in this country. He supports gay rights and will fight for it until he comes up against someone black and then he will allow that person a second chance because he is black.

    Patti LaBelle was the same - she allegedly supported gays for decades but as soon as that anti gay black preacher (one of the most anti-gay in the U.S.) asked her to sing in his church she dropped the gays as fast as she could and joined the preacher in his church.

    Black people allow the race card to be used to guilt them by their own people and they are too stupid to see it.

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 26, 2014 1:44:58 PM

  8. Is Wasde Davis being paid by Tyree or the Giants to try to lessen Tyree's extremist homophobic image?

    Or is he actually stupid enough to think that Tyree is no longer a vile hate-monger.

    Tyree must be sacked. No excuse will absolve his vicious extremism.

    Posted by: MaryM | Jul 26, 2014 2:01:14 PM

  9. this is the closet case butt strut dance that all these so called men get to do when they pontificate now remember, this is the same group that can be found in any park, bar and online on the sneak tip looking for that quickie Blow job not found at home...

    Posted by: Troy | Jul 26, 2014 2:36:37 PM

  10. 'We will be able to talk about why the things he has said were so hurtful to so many people.'

    And then what?

    The final part of that conversation needs to be 'what is David Tyree going to do to make it right'? He took a leadership role with anti-gay hate groups. Spreading their destructive message loudly. Is Tyree now going to take a leadership role in making those that persecute face up to the results of their hate? Or will he simply fade into silence?

    Posted by: Own up | Jul 26, 2014 2:42:20 PM

  11. It is really sad to witness someone lower themselves like this.

    Posted by: tad | Jul 26, 2014 3:06:40 PM

  12. Tyree had no problem making his anti-gay views VERY public but he has made NO public statement to refute them. And gay blogs are falling all over themselves to post this because one man claims that Tyree whispered these things in his ear when no one else was listening. And Davis has the audacity to attack gay organizations and activists for holding Tyree accountable claiming that they don't know what they're talking about. How WOULD they know since you are the ONLY person that Tyree has allegedly shared this evolution with?

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Jul 26, 2014 3:17:08 PM

  13. I am very disappointed in Wade Davis. His job with the "You Can Play" project is not to defend bigots. He has lost all credibility and has just become a tool to be used by the NFL.

    Posted by: Jay | Jul 26, 2014 5:06:41 PM

  14. Utterly unconvincing. If Davis can't honestly acknowledge and discuss the possibility that he's being played, then he can't show why Tyree can be believed. Surely someone who denied his sexual orientation to further his career can appreciate why Tyree might act politically correct toward a public figure to further his own career.

    In his commentary, Davis tries to parallel his mom's struggle to accept her gay son with Tyree's so-called evolution. The analogy would be apt if his mom's acceptance came suddenly at a time when her son's endorsement would be convenient for her career.

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 26, 2014 5:07:41 PM

  15. Folks, please, think about this for a minute. We cheer as the polls show that support for gay marriage has skyrocketed from 30-something percent to 50-something percent in something like 5 years. Yay, isn't that great?? But now think for a second: every single one of those percents that we LOVE and CHEER represents a huge number of people who used to oppose gay marriage and now support it. That's what we WANT, folks. We want hearts and minds to change, right? So let's not get so damned virulent when it looks like someone might actually be changing. Perhaps he's not, but perhaps he is. So let's not go on the attack immediately just because someone who used to be an enemy might actually be becoming a friend. This happens more than we realize. How about your parents, guys? How about your friends? How about Kobe Bryant? (Google it.) Hell, how about you? Twenty years ago, did you think that gays should be allowed to get married? I'll bet you didn't even think about it.

    True, this may be so much BS on Tyree's part, but it may be completely genuine. If he's actually evolving and figuring out the right answer, let's not demonize him just because he used to adhere to the wrong answer. Wade Davis is the one who has actually spoken to him about this -- not you, and not me. So let's calm our collective asses down and perhaps -- just perhaps -- accept "yes" for an answer. I would welcome every former bigot with open arms, and so should you. That's the only way a minority opinion becomes a majority one.

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 26, 2014 8:31:30 PM

  16. People do change. Studies show that actually meeting and spending time with people who are gay change people's minds. I have employees and co-workers who tell me that they never realized that gay people had the same type of relationships that they do. They come to my house for dinner or a party and they see the interactions between me and my husband and see that we are just like them. That is is the biggest force of change. When they stop seeing us as different as start seeing us as the same.

    When people see Michael Sam practicing and playing the same way as every other NFL player. That makes the difference. People have an irrational fear of the unknown. When the truth becomes known they change their mind. Let's give them a chance to change their mind.

    Posted by: swellster | Jul 26, 2014 8:41:17 PM

  17. Finally, a bit of sanity in these posts :)

    I know Dan LeBatard was bringing up the same sort of possible thought pattern as many on this thread (and, I'll admit, even I'm a bit skeptical, but I'm not going to go as far as to say he's *definitely* not being genuine), so there might be something to it. Then again, like Rich said, this might actually be a moment where the ball got rolling, so to speak. Let it play out THEN we'll make a judgment based on that.

    Posted by: Cody Reed | Jul 26, 2014 8:46:21 PM

  18. @RICH, the time to believe something is NOT when you want it to be true, or when it has been true in other cases. It's when you have good evidence to believe it's true in _this_ case AND no good reason to believe it's false. What do you think the support for gay marriage would be if people were offered money to say they support it and faced losing their jobs if they opposed it? Would you believe the polls? Now apply that to Tyree's situation.

    The time to believe Tyree will be when his claims benefit someone else at his own risk, not the other way around.

    Posted by: JJ | Jul 26, 2014 9:19:17 PM

  19. @JJ, I see your point. However, Tyree was perfectly willing to speak his mind before, and Wade Davis (the guy who spoke with Tyree face to face) seems to think this may be genuine. Call me naive, but I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt when they purport to come around to my point of view -- particularly when I'm right, and particularly when millions of others are doing the same thing. :)

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 26, 2014 9:25:51 PM

  20. In response to SWELLSTER:

    This might be the case in the general public and I of course applaud them for changing and as they say "evolving on the issue. And you are right about the polls moving as fast as they are, however I doubt very much a public spokesperson for NOM would do it unless his potential income was being affected.

    If he does feel this way now, then Mr Tyree must publicly denounce the earlier interview and make a statement supporting his new position of supporting "the gay".

    We'll be waiting with open arms .....

    Posted by: Will G. | Jul 26, 2014 9:32:01 PM

  21. sorry bout three is only upset because of the backlash that could cost him his well paying job . a bigot does not change its spots

    Posted by: walter | Jul 26, 2014 10:28:49 PM

  22. Wow. It's amazing how so many of you on here call for tolerance and acceptance, yet when a man does an about face on his previous homophobic issues, you spit ion his face and say he'll never change? This is why people say there is a gay agenda because you refuse to see any side other than your own. Funny because so many people say gay men are so promiscuous, why bother to legalize gay marriage. They'll never be faithful and uphold the vows or actually truly love another man. Yes, i guess your right to criticize him because people surely never change.

    Posted by: STOP WHINNING!!!! | Jul 27, 2014 2:13:56 AM

  23. We gays always have to apologize for being passionate about our concerns. I really don't care if he shook this writers hand at a cocktail party...I care if he's donating the MILLIONS he's making to anti gay causes, which he has in the past

    Posted by: ALLURE505 | Jul 27, 2014 8:27:49 AM

  24. Words are just words. What does his actions say? he's deeply hurt our community with his past commentary and actions.

    Posted by: Same Love | Jul 27, 2014 8:28:26 AM

  25. How are we not sure he's not donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-gay forces behind our back, with his new found gig? that's the troubling aspect for many of us

    Posted by: Same Love | Jul 27, 2014 8:28:59 AM

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