Wade Davis, Retired NFL Player, Joins NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business as an Adjunct Faculty Member


NEW YORK, September 3, 2014 – Wade Davis, executive director of the You Can Play Project and retired National Football League player, will teach as an adjunct instructor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business. He will enlighten students in the Institute’s B.S. in Sports Management on organization in sports across the spectrum of youth, high school, college, and professional teams.

Currently an advocate, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and orientation equality, Davis played for the Tennessee Titans, the Washington Redskins, and the Seattle Seahawks, as well as for two different teams within the NFL Europe league. In his present role as executive director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending discrimination, sexism, and homophobia in sports, he works to develop curriculum, programming, training, and conversations that are focused on inclusion and diversity. In 2013, he cofounded, with Darnell L. Moore, the YOU Belong Initiative, an organization that offers LGBTQ and straight-allied youth a series of three-day, comprehensive sports instruction and leadership development clinics. As part of YOU Belong, Davis also began the Speakers’ Collective, which is aimed at providing support, promotion, and a sense of community for LGBTQ professionals of color.

“We are delighted to have Wade Davis teaching our students. His insider’s experience and view of sports as well as his deep commitment to discussing the most pressing issues that athletes face, professionally and personally, will provide an educational experience that our students can benefit from now and in the years to come,” said Wayne McDonnell, academic chair and clinical associate professor at the NYU School of Professional Studies Tisch Institute for Sports Management, Media, and Business.

In preparing his Fall 2014 course curriculum, Davis reflected on the opportunity to engage the next generation of sports managers.  “The intellectual curiosity in the classroom is going to make the discussion of the expected and unexpected challenges governing organizational sports very dynamic,” explained Davis.  “I’m particularly pleased to engage with NYU School of Professional Studies students, as their academic environment encourages forward-thinking approaches.”

Since retiring from the NFL, Davis has owned a media business through a partnership with The New York Times called InMotion Media. He worked as the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for The Hetrick-Martin Institute, where he taught LGBT youth how to define success. His work has appeared in the LA Times, The Advocate, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, The Guardian, and other media outlets, such as President Obama’s White House Blog. He has appeared on MSNBC, BBC, NPR, CNN, ESPN, and BET.

Davis has served as an adjunct professor at the Rutgers University School of Public Affairs and Administration, and has lectured on the intersections of race, sexuality, gender, and sports at universities nationally and internationally. He spoke at the 2014 NFL owners’ meeting and is helping to chart a course for the NFL and other sports leagues to effectively address issues of diversity and inclusiveness. In June 2014, Davis gave a “TED talks” style presentation at the NYU Sports and Society conference, “Character, Respect, and Civility in Youth Sports: Ending Bullying, Improving Performance.” Davis received an honorary degree from Northeastern University for his leadership and his ongoing efforts to eradicate homophobia and sexism in athletics.

About the NYU School of Professional Studies
Established in 1934, the NYU School of Professional Studies (sps.nyu.edu) is one of NYU’s several degree-granting schools and colleges, each with a unique academic profile. The reputation of the School of Professional Studies arises from its place as the NYU home for study and applied research related to key knowledge-based industries where the New York region leads globally. This is manifest in the School’s diverse graduate, undergraduate, and Professional Pathways programs in fields such as Accounting, Finance, and Law; Applied Politics; Creative Cities and Economic Development; English-Language Learning; Fundraising and Grantmaking; Global Affairs; Health Information Management; Hospitality and Tourism Management; Human Resource Management and Development; Languages and Humanities; Management and Systems; Marketing and Marketing Analytics; Professional Writing; Project Management; Public Relations and Corporate Communication; Publishing; Real Estate, Real Estate Development, and Construction Management; Social Entrepreneurship; Sports Management, Media, and Business; and Translation.

More than 100 distinguished full-time faculty members collaborate with an exceptional cadre of practitioner/adjunct faculty members and lecturers to create vibrant professional and academic networks that annually attract nearly 5,000 degree-seeking students from around the globe. In addition, the School fulfills the recurrent professional education needs of local, national, and international economies, as evidenced by close to 48,000 Professional Pathways enrollments in Career Advancement Courses, Diploma Programs, workshops, and seminars. The School’s community is enriched by more than 30,000 degree-holding alumni worldwide, many of whom serve as mentors, guest speakers, and advisory board members. For more information about the NYU School of Professional Studies, visit sps.nyu.edu.