He played defensive back (no, not tight end or wide receiver) for the Washington Redskins, the Tennessee Titans and Seattle Seahawks. Years after he finished with all that, he has given an interview and admitted that he is gay. No need to scramble for the soundbites; Davis came out some time ago – it is just that he has given a television interview about it for the first time.
Watch the interview here if you can. It reveals nothing new but it is nice to see yet another sportsman, well, ex-sportsman, tell the world that he played at the top levels of professional sports as a gay man. We all know that is not a big deal and only those whose minds are closed will find it noteworthy.
My interest is in another area entirely; Wade Davis’ mannerisms during his interview.
What comes through to me, looking at him talking about his sexuality with Amy K. Nelson, is how gay, gay, gay he is. His hand gestures, the way he tilts his head as he speaks, the sideways smile all say gay to me. Yes, he is also a handsome man, but there is no way I would have thought of him as anything else other than gay had I watched that interview without knowing his sexuality.
When you know what to look for, and when you are allowed into the intimate company of a gay man as Wade Davis has done this interview, it is fairly easy to spot the signs especially if the gay man has never been anything else.
So what? So, anyone who doesn’t know that their team-mate in a professional sport is gay is simply not paying attention, and that is all but impossible.
I am now convinced that the discerning professional athletes must know who is gay in their ranks. That in turns tells me that the “homophobia” in professional sports is driven more by the perception that the fans will never accept it than the fact that the players themselves don’t know. Professional sportsmen are sitting on some of the biggest gay secrets in the world and we should give them credit for that.
It’s simply impossible that Wade Davis’ team mates in Washington DC didn’t know he was gay. Impossible. In Tennessee it is possible one or two didn’t since the mentality there is still evolving but in Washington or Seattle? No, they knew.
They kept it to themselves, allowing Wade Davis to play out his career, bless them.
- Growing vocal acceptance for gay NFL players
- Former NFL Player Wade Davis is Gay and Talking About it Publicly for the First Time: VIDEO (towleroad.com)
- Gay former player encourages current gay players to come out (profootballtalk.nbcsports.com)
- Coming out