iOS app Android app

Wade Davis II
Wade Davis is a former NFL football player who played for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, as well as two different teams within the NFL Europe league. He's an advocate, writer, speaker and educator working to combat different intersectional issues such as sexism, racism, homophobia, HIV/AIDS, mass incarceration, poverty and youth homelessness.

He’s currently the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination, sexism and homophobia in sports through the creation of curriculum, programming, trainings and conversations focused on inclusion and diversity. In 2013, he co-founded the You Belong Initiative with Darnell L. Moore, an organization that offers LGBTQ and straight-allied youth a series of 3-day comprehensive sports instruction and leadership development clinics; as well as the creation of a Speaker’s Collective aimed at providing support, promotion, and community for LGBTQ professionals of color. Also, he has accepted an invitation to teach at New York University within the Sports Management department in the fall of 2014.

Wade’s work educating institutions on how to effectively address issues of diversity, inclusion and workplace culture spans from sports leagues to colleges to corporations. He has provided trainings, curricula and lectures for major institutions such as the NFL, MLB, the NCAA, over 50 colleges and universities, and corporations such as Deutsche Bank, PepsiCo, and Mass Mutual.

After retiring Wade worked as the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for the Hetrick Martin Institute, where he taught at-promise LGBT youth how to define success for themselves. While working as an advocate his writings and interviews have appeared in the NY Times, Sports Illustrated, the LA Times, The Advocate, The Guardian, and other media outlets, like President Obama's Whitehouse blog. He has appeared on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, CNN, ESPN, and BET.

During the 2012 Presidential election, Wade worked as an official LGBT Surrogate for President Obama. Also, Wade has agreed to become a US State Department Speaker Specialist to travel nationally and internationally to speak on issues of gender, race, sexuality, class and sports diversity and inclusion. He has served as an adjunct professor at the School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University, Newark.

Lastly, Wade has joined the ranks of John F. Kennedy, Mikhail Gorbachev, and Colin Powell and received an honorary degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics.

Entries by Wade Davis II

Family Business

(1) Comments | Posted January 28, 2015 | 2:17 PM

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhuman." As our country celebrates his life and work this week, this quotation makes me think about health and health care through the lens of solidarity, about the ways...

Read Post

A Numbers Game: Making An NFL Roster

(3) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 6:34 PM

Making an NFL team's 53-man roster starts in training camp. According to NFL rules, each team can only have 90 players when training camp starts. The 90-man roster consists of players from the previous year, drafted and undrafted rookies and free agents from other teams. The process that all teams...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Is Fly Young Red's Newest Track Revolutionary?

(5) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 4:09 PM

Along with the three co-authors listed, Bryson Rose, writer and LGBTQIA youth advocate, also participated in this conversation.

Wade: I'm sure you've heard the new song, "Throw Dat Boy P****" by black gay male rapper Fly Young Red. I thought his new song and the buzz around it...

Read Post

Speculation as Sport: Rumors, Gossip and Outing in the Sports World

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2014 | 7:45 PM

Our societal obsession with the personal lives and sexual preferences of entertainers has always been par for the course and something that many entertainers, I imagine, have come to expect and in many ways accept. Now this reckless fascination and speculation has bled into the world of sports and become...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Shade Culture -- Throwing Shade, Reflecting Light

(2) Comments | Posted March 29, 2013 | 10:00 AM

Darnell: I recently read a powerful article titled "A Love Letter to Brothers," published in Mused Magazine Online, written by my friend Dymir Arthur. In it Dymir encourages black gay men to love ourselves (and each other) and to rid our communities of "shade." While it would be...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Pro Athletes, Sexuality and Media Hype

(5) Comments | Posted January 29, 2013 | 10:05 PM

Darnell: Wade, I could not wait to get your thoughts on some of the recent headlines dominating sports news outlets. From the current publicity on the Denver Nuggets' Kenneth "The Manimal" Faried's moving video in support of his lesbian mothers to the Manti Te'o media fiasco...

Read Post

A Letter Of Solidarity

(2) Comments | Posted January 1, 2013 | 9:21 AM

This letter is part of our "Letters to Our Ancestors" project. In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, we've asked black political leaders, writers and critics to share their own letters to our forefathers. With these letters, we hope to look back on the progress our community...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Our Fathers -- Invisible Men?

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2012 | 12:21 PM

Wade: Recently, while speaking to some friends about my upbringing, one asked, "Why do you not talk about your relationship with your father more?" It was an observant and valid question. It caused me to pause and think about my relationship with both my biological father and my stepfather. It...

Read Post

To End AIDS Among Black Gay and Bi Men, There's a Need for Action

(7) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 10:22 AM

The face of AIDS as imagined by some in America is that of a black gay or bisexual man. Indeed, black gay and bisexual men, or men who have sex with men (MSM), have the highest HIV rates in the country. Black MSM are commonly portrayed as as "down low...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Black, Gay and Sanctified?

(4) Comments | Posted November 19, 2012 | 7:23 PM

Darnell: I think that it is fair to say that you and I are what some might call "church boys." I know that some Christian folks tend to place "God" and "gay" in the same sentence when they are referencing "sin" and "hell," but faith and spirituality are important to...

Read Post

Mitt Romney's Anxieties: Fear of Democratic Leadership, or, Fear of Black and Brown America?

(83) Comments | Posted November 6, 2012 | 10:39 AM

Mitt Romney's neoconservative belief that a US Congress with a majority Democratic
leadership--leaders who tend to be voted in by a large black and brown voting bloc--speaks to
the elephant (or, republican) in the room this election year.

Romney offered the following observation at a private fundraising dinner...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: When Even Beautiful Gay Weddings Aren't Enough

(13) Comments | Posted October 31, 2012 | 9:26 PM

Wade: Recently, a video of the wedding of Robert Brown and Nathanael Gay, two black gay men, went viral. I almost cried while watching it but was saddened by the negative reaction the two gentlemen received for having a "Kappa-themed" wedding. How did you feel about the wedding...

Read Post

Coming Out: Is It All About You?

(9) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 11:12 AM

Though I can remember almost everything about that day, from my mother's facial expression to her subtle physical responses, only recently have I tried to understand her reactions and consider her feelings throughout my coming-out process.

James Baldwin said it best: "Everybody's journey is individual," and that was definitely...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: 'Complex' Relationships: On Love and Violence in LGBTQ Relationships

(11) Comments | Posted October 5, 2012 | 9:29 PM

Darnell: Wade, we recently watched a segment of The CW's increasingly popular The LA Complex where rapper Kaldrick King (played by Andra Fuller) brutally beat a man, Tariq (played by Benjamin Charles Watson), whom he worked with and was intimately involved with. You mentioned...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: Love Rules?

(4) Comments | Posted August 31, 2012 | 1:15 PM

We know what you are thinking: Not another conversation on love. We promise, however, that for every saccharine-laced word that follows (thanks to one of our early readers, Larry Lyons, for warning us that our love notes might very well cause toothaches), we were sure to talk about the whips...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: 'Man Hugs' and Manhood With Sylvia Harvey

(10) Comments | Posted August 15, 2012 | 3:11 PM

Men seem to hug on the basketball courts or show affection on the football field, but why are some men afraid to embrace on a busy street corner? Sylvia Harvey, journalist and producer of the mini-doc Out of Bounds, which is a short work that "explores the strange...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: On 'Barbershop Conversations,' Black Masculinity, and Sexuality

(20) Comments | Posted July 27, 2012 | 3:57 PM

This is our second conversation as part of our Huffington Post series, "Tongues Untied: Wade Davis, II and Darnell L. Moore in Conversation." (Read the first conversation here.) The title of our column is our way of paying tribute to the many black gay men who have given...

Read Post

Tongues Untied: On 'Coming Out,' Anderson Cooper, and Frank Ocean

(32) Comments | Posted July 6, 2012 | 10:16 AM

This is our first conversation as part of our Huffington Post series, "Tongues Untied: Wade Davis, II and Darnell L. Moore in Conversation." The title of our column is our way of paying tribute to the many black gay men who have given us the language and ancestral strength to...

Read Post

An Open Letter to Young LGBT Athletes

(13) Comments | Posted June 21, 2012 | 12:17 PM

Dear young athletes,

It is 6:40 a.m. I am sitting at my computer thinking about what to write to you, and I am afraid.

I'm afraid that my words won't be powerful enough. I fear that everything that is in my heart will not find its way out and have...

Read Post

Reflections on Self-Hatred and Relationships

(72) Comments | Posted April 18, 2012 | 3:44 PM

After my last Huffington Post piece, "Black, Gay, and Suspicious?" I received several humbling requests from people who wanted to read a follow-up elaborating more on the subject of my internalized racism and the way it had potentially shaped my dating choices.

Trying to examine my own...

Read Post