January 10, 2013
Wade Davis: There are gay men in professional sportsGay ex-NFLer opens up about sexuality in the NFL, NBA
By QMI Agency
At least one “significant contributor” in the NFL or NBA is homosexual, according to one gay ex-NFLer, who recently came out at the conclusion of his playing career.
According to Wade Davis, a defensive back who spent time with the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks before playing in Europe, there are already semi-openly gay men across some of North America’s major sports leagues.
“Openly gay is a bit strong,” Davis told the Daily Beast. “When we think of openly gay we think of walking down the street with your boyfriend but there are players who know that this player may have a boyfriend or may not date women and that's just it.”
The 34-year-old disclosed that he knows of three professional athletes, including a starter, who are gay and that many of their teammates are aware of their preferred sexuality.
“Not only in the NFL. There are some in the NFL and some in the NBA,” Davis said.
“It's not talked about,” he continued. “(The player) is there to do a job, I'm here to do a job, it's not talked about. He's my brother. He doesn't treat me any different than anyone else does.”
When asked to explain the off-field relationships between gay athletes and their teammates, Davis explained how the day-to-day interaction, no matter a player’s sexual orientation, is what you’d expect it to be.
“One particular guy I know of keeps things very separate,” he said of one gay athlete he’s aware of. “But everything else that his teammates do he does. If they go to the Waffle House late night or if there's a barbeque or a smoke session at someone's house, this guy goes and just exists just like everyone else.
“His partner may not take part in that.”
A number of recent initiatives have taken aim at casual homophobia within professional dressing rooms, most notably Brian Burke's son's organization You Can Play, a campaign to address the stigma.
Last year, former Montreal Impact midfielder David Testo came out at the conclusion of his playing career. One of the few openly gay athletes to emerge from a North American league, the 31-year-old American says he wishes he hadn’t held it in.