In an exclusive interview with OutSports.com, former Seattle Seahawks and Tennessee Titans cornerback Wade Davis admitted he is a friend of Dorothy. Davis joins NBA forward John Amaechi, NFL lineman Esera Tuaolo and major leaguer Billy Bean as athletes who’ve come out of the closet following retirement.
In citing his reasoning for not coming out sooner, the Weber State graduate shared, “You just want to be one of the guys, and you don’t want to lose that sense of family,” Davis said in the interview now virally penetrating the sports world. “Your biggest fear is that you’ll lose that camaraderie and family.”
Football has taken on a new role in Davis’ life. He is now part of the New York Gay Football League as Director of Player Development – a mentor role he takes very seriously.
“The hardest thing I found when I first joined the gay football league was being my competitive self but not alienating the guys I wanted to become friends with. It took me a while to embrace the role of mentor in the league because I was so focused on winning. After losing in [Gay Bowl X], I started taking my time to see life through other people’s eyes. I wanted the game of football to be tangible for everyone,” he said in the interview.
The Obama/Biden re-election campaign is at the forefront of Davis’ mind. Of his time visiting Washington, D.C. to help support the administration’s efforts Davis said, “It is one of the most important things I’ve ever been involved in. The ability to influence people for some of the things I believe in, and making sure a person gets in office who I think is going to take the country in the best direction, is extremely important. Other than the work I do with youth every day, I don’t think there’s anything I’ve done that’s more important in a long, long time.”
Davis is also a staff member at the Hetrick-Martin Institute in New York. Of the move to helping lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth, Davis said, “How many people get to live out their two dreams? I got to play in the NFL, and now I get to change the world.”
According to their mission statement: The Hetrick-Martin Institute believes all young people, regardless of sexual orientation or identity, deserve a safe and supportive environment in which to achieve their full potential. Hetrick-Martin creates this environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth between the ages of 12 and 24 and their families.
Through a comprehensive package of direct services and referrals, Hetrick-Martin seeks to foster healthy youth development. Hetrick-Martin’s staff promotes excellence in the delivery of youth services and uses its expertise to create innovative programs that other organizations may use as models.