Back in 2000, NFL defensive back Wade Davis was so afraid of being outed as a gay man that he spent thousands at a strip club , and didn’t associate with other players who were “different” on the warnings of a Tennessee Titans teammate.
Davis, who also played for the Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks as well as NFL Europe before injuries forced his retirement, spoke about his struggles with his sexuality as a pro athlete this week during interviews with OutSports.com and SB Nation.
“Your biggest fear is that you’ll lose that camaraderie and family,” said Davis. “It’s not like they’d like me less, it’s that they have to protect their own brand.”
Now working for a LGBT organization in New York, Davis is also a community advocate volunteer for President Obama. No NFL player has ever come out during his career, and only a handful of players have talked about being gay after retirement. Davis said that he was coming out publicly in order to effect change in the world.
Video by Dallas Jensen.