NFL Players Association to join Wade Davis in Chicago Pride Parade

Wed. June 26, 2013 1:55 PM by News Staff

wade davis

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Chicago, IL - Former NFL player and activist Wade Davis will be joined by The Retired Professional Football Players of Chicago - NFL Players Association when he marches in Chicago's Gay Pride Parade this Sunday.

Davis, who played for the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Seattle Seahawks, will serve as Grand Marshal for this year's 44th annual parade.

Joining Davis will be Marques Sullivan, who has played for the Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and New England Patriot, and Reggie Smith, who has played for the Denver Broncos, NFL Players Association Media Relations Director Payal Patel confirmed to

"The NFL Players Association Former Players Chapter of Chicago is delighted to support Wade in his crusade to bring more awareness and rally support for the LGBTQ community and particularly, to those who participate in sports," said Sullivan, who is also the president of the NFL Players Association Former Players Chapter of Chicago.

Davis now serves as a nationally recognized speaker, activist, writer and educator, sharing his story as a closeted gay professional athlete. After retirement, Davis opened up about his sexuality and now seeks to shed positive light for LGBTQ individuals, especially within sports.

Recently, Davis launched the YOU Belong Initiative, a series of 4-day comprehensive sports instruction and leadership development clinics for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning) youth and straight allies that will be offered throughout the US quarterly within various sports with the initial camp being hosted in the city of Chicago this year, July 25th through the 28th at the Center on Halsted.

"Sports help instill character traits such as self-respect, discipline, accountability, and responsibility in people, especially at an early age," said Sullivan. "Participation in sports shouldn't be denied to anyone, no matter the individual's sexual preference, race, gender or religion."

The Chicago Pride Parade is set to begin at noon on Sunday, June 30, routing from Broadway and Montrose to Diversey and Cannon Drive. The parade, which will have over 200 entries and is expected to draw over 850,000 people, is the culmination of June Pride Month in Chicago. 

Related: Online Guide to Pride

On the Web: (PRIDEChicago, parade organizers)