Colorado tight end Nick Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver that his sexual orientation became a topic of discussion while talking to teams at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Maybe it’s because of the bizarre Manti Te’o story or just the way of the world these days but asking a player about his sexual orientation is weird…and a forbidden NFL practice.
According to Kasa’s account, he received blunt and direct questioning:
“They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ Do you like girls?’” Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday. “Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”
Let’s say one of the NFL’s top 20 players is gay and has a press conference tomorrow to announce this.
Would his team release him?
If he is still productive…heck no.
The bottom line is still winning. If teams aren’t going to take a player because of his sexual orientation, it’s a tad hypocritical and foolish.
They would be operating under the guise that no player in NFL history has ever been gay, which might be one of the greatest tall tales ever told.
Short of guys being all-around terrible human beings (i.e. killing people, committing felonies, etc.,), I’m not overly concerned with what they do after leaving the stadium on Sundays.
To me, the theory is simple. When fans watch the NFL, they don’t want to think about the following items:
- Natural disasters
- Family problems
- Work problems
- Marital problems
- A player’s sexual orientation
In matters like this, it’s best that teams remain neutral. That’s where fans want to be on NFL gamedays…neutral like Switzerland.
Of course, the only room for hate is for players and fans of the opposing team.
The only reason this is a relevant issue this year is because of the Te’o mess, which spiraled out of control.
Te’o’s NFL career could be a bust. That’s not because of his potential sexual preference though. Instead, it’ll be because he ran a 40-time that approached the Rich Eisen Zone and that he couldn’t hack it on the field.
Recently, the Boy Scouts of America ban on homosexual participants came to light. With that in mind, it’s not a stretch to believe people (and sponsors, in particular) would have a hard time openly supporting gay players.
Conversely, sponsors (i.e. UPS) will not necessarily be gung-ho to throw money behind an outfit that doesn’t appear to support alternative lifestyles.
This is one of the reasons perhaps why the NFL doesn’t want teams to discriminate against players based off of their sexual orientation according to a statement by league spokesman Greg Aiello on NFL.com:
“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws,” he said in a statement. “It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.
“In addition, there are specific protections in our Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”
Kasa’s questioning could be a blip on the radar but The Shield can’t let teams break provisions in the CBA like that.
If the following question mysteriously pops up on the league’s player assessment test then I’ll be worried:
You’re home on a Friday night and have to watch a movie…which of the following choices do you select from Netflix:
B. Wedding Crashers
D. Brokeback Mountain
When we bottom out at this level of mental ineptitude, then I’ll be really worried.
Categories: NFL Draft