US: Gay former NFL player to speak at Youth Pride event

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An openly gay former National Football League (NFL) player is set to speak at a US Youth Pride Day event in Washington DC.

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.

Davis will appear at the 18th annual Youth Pride Day, presented by the Youth Pride Alliance (YPA), which takes place on 27 April, which features performances, games, speakers and testimonials.

YPA President Nikisha Carpenter, said: “I’m really excited to welcome Wade Davis to the 18th annual Youth Pride Day.”

“As a former NFL player who is now out and empowering LGBTQ youth to succeed, Wade is an excellent role model for today’s youth,” he said.

Wade is currently the assistant director of job readiness at the Hetrick Martin Institute in New York City, and the LGBT Surrogate for President Barack Obama.

Others scheduled to speak at the celebration include US Representative Holmes Norton and District of Columbia Office of Human Rights Director, Gustavo F Velasquez.

Wade Davis said in January that he thinks there is at least one gay “significant contributor” in the NFL, and said he knew several gay players during his time as an active player in the league.

Former NFL player Brendon Ayanbadejo on Tuesday expressed ongoing support for equal marriage, and has said that now he has left the world of professional sport, he can help “so many more people”, than he could before. 

Yesterday, the NFL agreed, in an unprecedented move, to better protect gay players against discrimination and harassment, the New York Attorney General said.

Alan Gendreau, a gay American footballer has expressed hopes of being drafted by an NFL team, and could be the first openly-gay player the industry has anticipated for some time.