Wade Davis on a gay player’s struggles in NFL
Nowadays, Wade Davis is occupied in a more significant cause; helping the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning youth in New York City. The recent development took form after Wade Davis came out about his sexual orientation by publically declaring he was gay in the early 2011. Since then, Wade Davis has described that assisting other troubled youth with gender issues has been his true calling and second job he’s been passionate about after football.
“It’s the first job since football that I wake up excited for work,” Wade Davis said."I started to realize that, you know what, there's an opportunity here for me to really make and effect change, not only within myself but in the world."
In an interview to Out Sports, Wade Davis touched upon the few problems faced by these troubled youth.
“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," Wade Davis explained.
In the recent interviews SBNation and Out Sports, Wade Davis has given some rare insight into the world struggles of a gay player in the NFL, who has remained mum on the subject.
According to an interview with SBNation’s Amy K. Nelson, Wade Davis’ black identity only added to his worries and struggles as a gay man in NFL.
“He would wear his clothes extra large, use patterns of speech that, to him, sounded like he spoke like many of his peers,” stated Amy K. Nelson. “He said he became the best actor in the world, because he had to for survival.”
Wade Davis was continuously at a conflict with traditions and what is socially acceptable, stemming from his childhood and until he retired from NFL. Wade Davis always feared people would be judgmental and harsh once he came out gay.
"I think subconsciously, I understood that being gay -- the way I was raised -- was wrong, and there was no way that my family, at least in my mind, would accept me," recalled Wade Davis in one of his interviews. "And also that my football family would (not) accept me just because of the perception of being gay meant that you're less masculine."
Wade Davis tries to justify why he held out his gay orientation for years even after he left the NFL. The NFL family is a tight circle where one’s being gay may subject him to isolation from amongst many worse treatments.
“You just want to be one of the guys… Your biggest fear is that you’ll lose that camaraderie and family,” expressed Wade Davis.
However, a few years after retirement and once he came out gay, Wade Davis could begin his normal life and still could not understand why people aren’t more accepting of others.
"There was a part of me that was a little relieved because, when I knew football was over, my life would begin," said Wade Davis "I had this football life… Most of the guys had a family and a wife, but I had football and nothing else."
Initially he did not recommend a player contending for a roster spot to come out that he was gay. But after a moment’s deliberation, Wade Davis responded, “Screw it. I don't want to be in the business of telling anyone they can't live their life authentically."