Former NFL players comes out, goes to work at LGBT center


A former NFL player has come out as being gay, joining a small but growing number of former athletes who are publicly acknowledging they are gays or lesbians.

Wade Davis, a cornerback who spent four preseasons with three NFL teams and also played in NFL Europe, said he didn’t tell his teammates he was gay because he feared the impact it would have in the locker room.

“You just want to be one of the guys, and you don’t want to lose that sense of family,” Davis said in an interview with “Your biggest fear is that you’ll lose that camaraderie and family.”

Wade played in college at Weber State and spent the 2000 and 2002 preseasons with the Titans. Jevon Kearse and Samari Rolle were among his closest friends in Tennessee, and he would later be invited to Rolle’s wedding.

Kearse said he doesn’t think Davis being openly gay would have changed anything.

“I know there have been a lot more than just Wade,” Kearse told Outsports. “It’s just becoming more acceptable, which is a good thing so they can come out and not feel secluded.”

While there has yet to be an openly gay player in any of the four major American professional leagues, several players have come out after retiring, including former NBA forward John Amaechi, NFL lineman Esera Tuaolo and major leaguer Billy Bean. Rick Welts, president and chief operating officer of the Golden State Warriors, is openly gay.

Davis’ football career ended in 2003, after he got hurt in training camp. He is now a staff member at the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York City, which serves, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.

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