It’s time to think critically

SAGA hosts Wade Davis during Pride Week


Amy Martin

Former NFL player Wade Davis discusses his experience as an openly gay man in the sport.

Amy Martin, Features Editor

“There’s a difference between people telling you to love yourself versus learning how to do it yourself,” said former NFL player Wade Davis in a webinar lecture on April 14. Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) hosted this event for the third day of Pride Week.

After Davis came out as a gay man, he became the NFL’s first LGBTQ consultant, creating a safe space not only for players who are part of the LGBTQ community but for staff and faculty as well.

Davis is also the Vice President of Inclusion Strategy for Product at Netflix, where he hopes he can help expand viewers’ beliefs rather than reinforce stereotypes often found in television shows and movies. In addition, Davis has consulted with multiple major companies, including Google, MTV and 21st Century Fox, to find ways to build inclusive corporate cultures.

“I believe that all of us should be able to think critically of our beliefs and where they came from,” Davis said.

There are unconscious messages being broadcasted, especially in television shows and movies. Davis believes it is important for viewers to evaluate what they are watching.

Davis also wants to use his platform as a former NFL player to help call out harmful actions, especially those rooted in sexism and homophobia. During his time in the NFL, Davis mentioned there was a form of heteronormativity in the environment that reinforced othering. It led to his fear of coming out due to the possible backlash.

However, Davis was moved by the young people who risked their own freedom in order to openly identify with who they were. The world makes it seem that when people in the LGBTQ community come out, they are finally admitting to the shame of who they are. Davis thinks the shame should be on the world for creating this idea instead of accepting people for who they are.

It should also not be on just the LGBTQ community to make a change in the world. As an intersectional community, people need to do things as a collective.

“Allies say, ‘I’m listening! I’m listening! I’m listening!’ When are you going to stop listening and start acting?” Davis said.

Action starts when people begin to question. Davis advised attendees to question everything, including the things he said during the lecture. Critical thinking and education are needed in order to create a society that is more equal.