Wade Davis is well respected football player who spent 15 years trying to crack an opening day roster in the NFL. He attended training camp and played preseason games with the Tennessee Titans, the Seattle Seahawks and the Washington Redskins, along with stints with the NFL in Europe. All that time, he was keeping a secret - one that he says was eating him alive.
He was gay.
When he left football, the first thing he did was go to work for an organization that helps lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Davis told his story to “OutSports” and it has quickly gone viral.
In an exclusive interview, Davis tells Soledad why he waited so long to come out publicly.
“I just didn’t feel that I was ready,” Davis says. “And also that me being a gay person wasn’t really what I wanted to be known for. So, having an opportunity to work at the Hetrick-Martin Institute gives me a chance to really talk about lives that I’m able to affect in a real way.”
Davis also addresses the pressure of having to hide his secret while trying to perform in a high-profile sport. “It takes up every bit of space trying to understand the game of football, you know, at the NFL level and then trying to just hide who I was for such a very long, long time. I became a great actor. I should get an Oscar for it, honestly,” he says.
As for whether his NFL teammates would have accepted his sexuality, Davis tells Soledad he thinks he would have been accepted.
“I don’t believe most NFL players have a problem with having a gay teammate,” Davis adds. “I do believe that there’s a sense that they have to protect who they are.”
See more from the interview below. For more information on the Hetrick-Martin Institute, visit Hmi.org.