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June 6th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

EXCLUSIVE: Former NFL player Wade Davis tells Soledad why he waited to come out, says he didn't want to be known for being gay

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

Filed under: Homosexuality • NFL
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. kenny

    So what, just another person making a big deal that he/she is gay.Here is some headline news i'm straight and love women! Can i get in the news somehow. I am not just referring to this story but why are we getting this gay movement pushed down our throats when there is so much other stuff going on like the war and our fellow countrymen/women getting killed. Some gay activist had the guts to say its the same thing as the civil rights movement. No way shape or form is it the same. The people that are gay are either women or men of any of the races of people of whom are protected by the constitution already.
    If a guy wants to have sex with another guy or girl on girl then keep it behind closed doors and stop shouting from the rooftops. They are americans and have the same rights the rest of us does. I believe in america and love this country, thats why i joined the military. People can dislike someone else in this country, its ok, its being human.

    June 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse | Reply
  2. joesmith

    if cnn,nbc,abc,cbs had given this kind of coverage to Ron Paul, perhaps the peoplle of the United States would have a clear picture of what's really going on, and the solutions to fix our mess..nice, but nothing new

    June 7, 2012 at 8:04 am | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Patrick

    awesome. Just waiting for the day when an active player from one of the major four sports comes out. I wonder who will be the brave one to set the mark for all the rest.

    June 7, 2012 at 12:05 am | Report abuse | Reply
  4. cease

    sorry but ive never heard of this guy, he's a no name. but good for him for getting it off his chest, hopefully he's in a place of comfort. move along folks nothing to see here

    June 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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