A former NFL defensive back who briefly was on the Seattle Seahawks roster in 2001 has revealed he is gay.
Wade Davis had stints with the Seahawks, Tennessee Titans and Washington Redskins, but saw his biggest success in NFL Europe, winning a championship with the Berlin Thunder.
In an interview with outsports.com, Davis said his competitive nature kept him away from the gay community and that, even after coming out to his friends, he still carried the “gay-is-weak” belief in his mind.
Davis spoke of how he quickly won over the Titans locker room as a rookie free agent in 2000, but at least one teammate told him to stay away from someone suspected of being bisexual, saying it could hurt his chances of making the team. Davis was later cut and allocated to Berlin.
In 2001, Davis was shipped to the Seahawks. Davis said he was perceived by the team as a rebel who wouldn’t play by the rules. Story author Cyd Ziegler Jr.wrote:
“He remembers one practice when Darrell Jackson made a double move on him. Instead of biting on the first move, he read the second move and intercepted the ball. He was cut soon after that.”
During his second stint in NFL Europe with the Barcelona Dragons, Davis said teammates would drag him to a local brothel. He would pay women $100 just to sit and talk, keeping up the charade of being straight for his teammates.
Injuries during the NFL preseason in 2002 and 2003 effectively ended his playing career.
“There was a part of me that was a little relieved because, when I knew football was over, my life would begin,” Davis said in the interview “I had this football life, but I didn’t have another life away from that. Most of the guys had a family and a wife, but I had football and nothing else.”
Davis was able to bring those two worlds together in 2006, joining a team to play in the gay flag football national championships. He won three straight Gay Bowls with the New York Warriors.
Davis now works for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, which helps lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.
Information compiled by KING 5's Travis Pittman