Tuesday, March 5, 2013

NFL: Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell?

In a recent ESPN radio show, Nick Kasa, a tight end with the University of Colorado, was asked about his sexual orientation by scouts at the NFL Combine. Although it is illegal to ask an athlete if they are gay, the NFL scouts did make their intentions clear by asking indirect questions regarding Kasa’s sexuality such as “Do you have a girlfriend?”, “Are you married?”, and “Do you like girls?”.

The issue of an openly gay player in pro sports has been a media hot topic since San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made anti-gay remarks before Super Bowl XLVII.  Katie Couric also delved into the topic of sexual preference during an interview about the Manti Te’o “catfish” scandal. Couric point blank asked Manti Te’o if he was gay. The curiosity surrounding Te’o continued to dog the Heisman finalist as Mike Florio, NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk, explained to radio host Dan Patrick that NFL teams were extremely inquisitive about the sexual orientation of Te'o. "Here's the elephant in the room for the teams and it shouldn't matter, but we have to step aside from the rest of reality and walk into the unique industry that is the NFL." Florio said to Patrick. "Teams want to know whether Manti Te'o is gay. They just want to know. They want to know because in an NFL locker room, it's a different world. It shouldn't be that way."
It would be naïve to think that there are no gay players currently in pro sports. The question is ‘How long it will be before the culture in pro sports changes to allow the players to be open about their sexual orientation?’.    


  1. I think that if I were the owner or GM of a professional team this would be a nightmare to deal with. Florio was right when he said "it shouldnt matter". Herm Edwards also said on ESPN "He can be gay or straight, but all I wanna know is can he play football?". My dilemma with this situation is who do you accomodate for in the locker room, the gay athlete or the rest of the team? I say this because there is tons of exposure in the locker room and if players dont feel comfortable in the locker room it could possibly hurt your team unity. That being said, do you get another place for the gay athlete or other athletes to get ready? I believe once this can of worms is opened up and people start glorifying it that it will become a problem.

  2. I think everyone or every player can choose whatever orientation they want and shouldn’t be judged by it. A player’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with how they perform on the field. I’ve played with some gay girls throughout my career of sports and it didn’t change whether we won or lose, got along, or were talked about for having someone gay on the team. I believe players should be able to open about their sexuality. As for the locker room, if there was someone on your team that’s been there 5 years and finally tells the team they are gay some will have something to say about it and others will continue to go about getting ready for the game as they have done before. I believe it would make everyone a little more at ease if players could be open about their sexual orientation.