At the NFL Scouting Combine, potential draft picks not only compete in various drills, but they also undergo interviews by general managers.
Along with a player’s football acumen, it appears that officials for some NFL teams want to know the sexual orientation of their potential draft picks. According to Colorado tight end Nick Kasa, he was asked about his sexuality at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ Do you like girls?’” Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver. “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.”
Kasa’s revelation comes shortly after a report from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that stated NFL coaches and general managers want to know if Manti Te’o is gay. The Notre Dame linebacker denied gay rumors in an interview with Katie Couric after it was discovered that a man was behind the creation of his fake girlfriend, Lennay Kekua.
"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 told the “Dan Patrick Show.” “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."
Prior to Super Bowl XLVII, San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver caused controversy by proclaiming that he didn’t want any gay teammates. Even in 2013, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Miller says a gay player wouldn’t be welcomed in the locker room.
"There are some religions that are just not going to accept a gay individual in the locker room," Miller told WSCR-AM 670. "So now, are you as an organization going to bring that element into your locker room and think everything is going to be OK?”
No NFL player has ever been openly gay while in the league. Some straight players, like Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe and Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, have been advocates for same-sex marriage and gay rights.