Former NFL Player Explains Why Men Should Engage in Feminist Dialogue

Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Ms. Foundation For Women

In an interview with HuffPost, Wade Davis – an openly gay, former NFL player – speaks out on why he became a feminist activist.

During his professional career as an athlete, Davis had remained in the closet. He retired in 2003 due to a leg injury, and in 2012 he publicly came out and became an activist for LGBT and women’s rights.

RELATED: Amber Rose Wants Her Son to Grow Up to Be a Feminist

“I realized the root of homophobia was sexism. If I didn’t join women in fighting to end sexism, the patriarchy and misogyny – we would never ever end homophobia,” Davis said to HuffPost.

Beyonce and the 'Formation' of Black Girl Feminism (When the Hot Sauce Isn't Enough)

RELATED: Tracee Ellis Ross is ‘Confused’ by People Who Don’t Like the Word Feminist

In his interview, Davis addresses why he feels it’s important that men also engage in feminist discourse.

“It’s important for men to engage in feminist conversation, because often men don’t listen to women,” says Davis. “I’ve gone to so many panels and workshops, and there’s usually a woman who is speaking very honestly and with so much passion about why it’s important that we do this work and there’s only women in the room.”

Davis goes on to explain that it’s not only up to women to combat gender inequality.

“Often men are so sexist that we will only listen to other men. And that creates a scary dynamic, because often we don’t hold other men accountable when we’re having these male-only conversations,” he says.

“Men need to listen to women, and we also need to educate ourselves so we’re not adding more labor on women to further educate us about what the world is like for women. It’s on men to do the work to talk to other men, to meet them where they’re at on this journey and then hopefully make the language accessible.”

Read his entire interview here.

WANT MORE FROM ESSENCE? Subscribe to our daily newsletter for the latest in hair, beauty, style and celebrity news.

Read More
Filed under: News