When the time finally comes for a current NFL player to come out of the closet, he's pretty much going to have to take on the role of a tortured superhero. Or at least that's how Wade Davis sees it.
In an interview with The Daily Beast, the former NFL cornerback described the pressure a gay NFL player can face from activists encouraging him to come out: "We want this person to come out and save the world when he's probably not even ready to save himself."
Sounds a lot like a Batman or Superman type, no? Granted, Davis may have been talking mostly about himself, but his account of the struggle that many NFL players go through elucidates why the NFL hasn't yet produced a gay figurehead. He also admits that he's worried the wrong player might come out:
"I'm worried about who it is and the idea that they have to do all these things the way that we want them to do it. That we've removed all the agency that they have. That's what I'm worried about. What if he says 'I don't want to be on the cover of Out ... I don't want to be sexualized?' Everyone doesn't exist in that sphere and if he doesn't follow that pre-existing roadmap then he's not going to be good enough to be that person."
(Well, first of all, thanks for the shoutout, Wade.)
As for who that first openly-gay player might be, Davis has no idea. But he does have a few hints: He mentions at least three NFL players who are "semi-openly gay," which means they're only open to their teammates. He even throws in a bonus tidbit about the NBA when he hints at a gay starter who happens to be a "significant contributor."
Let the speculation begin!