“We raise young boys to wear a mask of toughness in order to be a man and we rob them of their childhood and their innocence. And sport is one of the many vehicles that parents choose to help their kids put on these masks. And as little boys we learn that being labeled ‘tough’ grants you a certain type of social capital and being thought of as weak or queer is suicidal, both athletically and socially.”
We had the opportunity to hear Wade Davis, an ex-NFL player for the Titans, Redskins, and Seahawks, and the NFL’s first diversity and inclusion consultant, speak a few times while at A Call to Men‘s conference in Minnesota and his story is an important one.
In the video below, Davis shares his story of growing up gay in the world of football and urges us to reconsider our definitions of masculinity.