Wade Davis: Gays In The NFL, NBA Lead Semi-Open Lives


Openly gay is a bit strong cuz when we think of openly gay we think of walking down the street with your boyfriend but there are players who know that this player may have a boyfriend or may not date women and that’s just it. It’s not talked about. He’s there to do a job, I’m here to do a job, it’s not talked about, he’s my brother, he doesn’t treat me any different than anyone else does…One particular guy I know of keeps things very separate. But everything else that his teammates do he does. If they go to the Waffle House late night or if there’s a barbeque or a smoke session at someone’s house this guy goes and just exists just like everyone else. His partner may not take part in that.”

Openly gay former NFL player Wade Davis discussing the semi-openly gay lives of NBA and NFL players with The Daily Beast.

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  • Brian

    Wade Davis actually makes a good point. There are gay men who don’t think their sex lives is anyone else’s business. There’s also a lot of bisexual guys in the professional sports fields who keep their same-sex side separate from everything else they do team-wise.

  • yaoming

    “Smoke session”?

  • biguy

    smoking buds


    Duh! Smoke session = curing hams
    Don’t be such a racial profiler!

  • Mjl-428

    aaaaaaaaannnnnndddd cue the many gay guys here who are going to TRASH Wade for no reason whatsoever.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    For living semi-open lives, I’m semi-proud of you.

  • Dionte

    They are probably not purebred gays so they are not strong enough to live freely.

  • M


    There’s a difference between “none of your business” and you can’t come out and have to hide it.

    Things can be “none of your business” and you can bring someone you care for to an event.

    Plus, it doesn’t really help that people end up knowing anyway, even if you don’t tell them.

  • LadyL

    Um… okay. I hear what he’s saying, but “it’s not talked about” (and its silent sidekick, “it’s nobody’s business”) as a way of suggesting that things are basically cool is problematic to me. No matter how you look at it, it’s still a separate-but-equal existence, which ultimately means no existence really; you’re still having to hide. Do straight players EVER shut up about women? The women they’re dating, the women they used to date, the women they want to date? Are gay or bi players EVER allowed even one tenth the freedom to talk the same way?
    And what’s “you’re there to do a job” supposed to mean? Wade, honey, it’s football, not firefighting or police work.
    If the understanding is that you’re allowed to exist only under the condition that you keep your mouth shut about yourself and your partner never participates in the sort of activities that the other players wives and girlfriends are welcome to attend, you ARE being treated differently. You’re not a brother, you’re a step-child.


    Fuck you guys at the “NFL” bring the boy friend forsure.

  • mike777

    @LadyL: What? That doesn’t make sense. Put yourself in their place. If you have a boy friend and play basketball or football, what’s the BF gonna do? Sit with players wives and GFs?

    There’s a basic gross out factor which is being over looked. Straight team mates don’t wanna see any PDA with a guy. They just don’t.

    As for hearing about girlfriends and wives, past and present, they talk about it because they want to and it’s listened to because they want to hear it and more than likely bust on them or rip or empathize with women are crazy. If that were to happen with a gay relationship as soon as one negative comment or something over the line is said, someone will make it into a lack of tolerance when infact, it’s just guys rippin’ on each other. That’s (emphasis) why it’ll be separate, but equal.

    It’s not the straight community that has to change how they behave, it’s the gay community. Right? It’s locker rooms and sports and athletes – a fairly “base” or low brow group when they’re together. Along the lines of, “The more men that are in a group, the closer the age they act will approach 13 years old.” It is what it is.

    Not sure many of you have been on a team like baseball, lacrosse, football, but that’s how it is. Like… there’s no decorum. In fact, if there’s too much decorum, something’s wrong. Players at a high level need to be loose and not have a politically correct editor running while in the pack. So if something is stupid or they’re asked to do something they don’t want to do, you’ll here, “that’s gay”. If someone screws up or needs to focus more or get their head in the game, you’ll here, ” c’mon don’t be such a fag” or “c’mon faggot”.

    It’s offensive if taken the wrong way or maybe it’s just offensive, but it’s the way it’s been.

    The difficulty with someone on the down low, is that they’ve said those things themselves or accepted them when they were said in their presence. They’d be a hypocrite if they came out and thought teammates should change what they say or how they behave.

    When you have a bunch of straight guys together, there’s a shared commonality. It’s what they’re about, they don’t want to hear about things that aren’t common. So unless there is a majority of gays in the locker room, it’s not gonna change.

    IF it were to change, it would have to start in the middle school locker rooms. Think of yourselves in 7th, 8th and maybe 9th grade. You probably weren’t out or weren’t sure yet, you knew something was different about you compared to your friends, but you sure didn’t want to be the center of attention on that subject, so if someone says that’s gay or faggot, you mimicked it or didn’t say anything.

    I just don’t see how or why that culture would change when the gay community is 2-3% of that population. Maybe a little more, but not much. It’ s pretty easy to see who is semi turned on in the locker room of a middle school, so I’m guessing there is a smaller % of gay guys playing a team sport.

  • Josh

    Wow. You think there should be a double standard for gay men because some straight people are “grossed out”? Does it occur to you that if all gay people thought the way you did we’d still be back in the ’50’s where being gay was essentially illegal? You are an utter moron. That is all.

  • Josh

    Um how is saying that gay men should hide their romantic relationships a good point? Because they don’t have the balls to be who they are, or because the environment is openly hostile, we should just accept it? That’s a really great point… very courageous and inspiring.

  • Josh

    Aaaaand cue the self-hating Uncle Toms who prefer being treated like second-class citizens to actually growing a set of balls.

  • Mjl-428

    @Josh: ummmm no. I just notice too often on certain articles, you guys praise the hell out of one guy (Chris Kluwe ) but would harp at or ignore another ( Wade Davis Jr.) when both are on the same damn side. If you think I’m anywhere in agreement with mike777, bitch look up my fucking history and see for yourself before you make a fase accusation. I’m glad to be who I am and will gladly die for my right to exist but as far as being apart of the “gay family”, I don’t see much of a family and don’t trust you bitches as far as I could throw you. Now Wade as a gay man, can basically give you accounts of what it’s like to be a gay or bisexual man in professional football, since unlike most of you he has been in the NFL. it’s a whole different perspective. If you guys want someone to just out one of their teammates just so you can have some kind of fucking satisfaction then you have some issues.

  • MK Ultra

    @Brian: and why should a gay player’s romantic life be kept any more secret than a straight player’s.
    Maybe for you being gay is all about sex. I pity you then. Don’t apply your lifestyle to the whole gay community.

  • mike777


    Oh Josh, your bulb is a little dim. I was attempting to explain why it won’t change. Double standard? No double standard? is irrelevant to them. The locker room, team sports in general, just aren’t ready for open gays.

    Straights are gonna do what they want. They are the majority. Gays can do whatever they want as well. However, there is a social contract or man code for lack of a better term, so gays could bring their BF to a gathering, but if what they do offends the group, they won’t be asked back.

    I’m not saying it’s great, I’m just saying that’s what it is. Just like any other gathering of people, if people like being around you, they’ll ask you back. If they don’t, they won’t.

    No double standard, just people being people. Ya can’t force people to like you or accept you, but our actions can make it easier to get invited back or just be treated like one of the guys.

  • Josh

    Yeah like I said, utter moron.

  • Josh

    In any case whether or not they feel comfortable bringing their partners to events is totally beside the point. None of these supposedly “semi-open” players is out enough to even admit to being gay. If they were, the public would know about it. Apparently it is too threatening to the straight players to have openly gay men in the locker rooms with them. How are you going to justify that? By insisting that we should have separate locker rooms so straight men don’t feel uncomfortable changing at the gym? Never mind the amazing amount of good it would do for gay youth to have openly gay NFL players. You’re just making up excuses to justify cowardice and homophobia. If you’re going to accept being treated as subhuman, at least be honest about it.

  • Brian

    The point is that some people are NOT comfortable with putting their romantic lives on display. Are you going to tell them otherwise? Who are you busy-bodies to tell a person that he or she must put their romantic lives on display?

    Yes, many heterosexual players DO put their romantic lives on display. Society’s structures are built around heterosexuality. Have you ever thought of the role of the women here? Why are THEY so keen to be used in the display? Look at the wives – they are just as guilty of enabling the heterosexual dominance of sports players’ images.

  • Will L

    @mike777: Mike, you think like an old man. That’s the way it WAS. When I was very young, an enlightened woman had me figured out and said that “those who ‘know’ know”. Most folks were cool as long as you were subtle. I lived most of my life that way (and it helped me with my career). My little brother was my best friend and he would say “so let’s talk about you. Are you dating anyone?” He was the only straight man who openly discussed this with me. Things are becoming much more open in the world. There’s a big difference between being tolerated (as long as you are by yourself) and being welcomed with a partner. Many folks are not yet comfortable being open about their lives just because that’s the way we had to live for so long (at least in Oklahoma). I know it’s a slow process to change other people’s way of thinking because it took a long time for me to become comfortable with it myself.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Will L, You sound so cool. I would bet that you are a very fine person. I’m glad you are comfortable now. Maybe someday, the world will lose this notion that we have to be semi-transparent.

  • ted72

    Josh, you rock!

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