Gay former NFL player says there are many ‘semi-openly’ gay US athletes

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An openly-gay former National Football League (NFL) player has said that he thinks there is at least one gay “significant contributor” in the NFL.

Wade Davis, a defensive back who player for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, came out at the end of his playing career.

He said he thought there were already “semi-openly gay” players across some of North America’s major sports leagues, reports the Edmonton Sun.

“Openly gay is a bit strong,” Davis told the Daily Beast. “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.”

The 34-year-old said he knew of three gay professional athletes, and that many of their teammates also knew about them being gay.

Saying that the gay sportspeople he knew were not only in the NFL, but in the National Basketball Association (NBA) “Not only in the NFL. There are some in the NFL and some in the NBA,” Davis said.

“It’s not talked about,” he continued. “[The player] is 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.”

Discussing the relationships between gay athletes and their teammates on and off the field, Mr Davis said players interacted with one another in a way which to be expected. He said:

“One particular guy I know of keeps things very separate,” he said of one gay athlete he’s aware of. “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.

He did say that there was a degree of separation with the gay players’ partners and their teammates: “His partner may not take part in that.”

At the end of 2012, equal marriage advocate and NFL Football player, Chris Kluwe spoke about the possible marketing and endorsement opportunities, surrounding the first openly gay NFL player, whoever that may be.

Mr Kluwe also made the headlines when he defended Brendon Ayanbadejo, a player for the Baltimore Ravens, aganst a  call from Delegate Emmett C Burns Jr, to reprimand Mr Ayanbadejo, who recorded a video for a gay rights advocacy group last October.

Baltimore Ravens linebacker, and equal marriage advocate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, shared his elation at waking up to find that Maryland voters had chosen to legalise equal marriage in the state, saying it was “like Christmas”.

Earlier this week, actor, Neil Patrick Harris, faced accusations of “mocking Christianity” and pushing a “gay agenda” for his appearance in an advert for the NFL championship final, the Super Bowl.