Nick Kasa Reveals NFL Combine Interviews Inquire About Players' Sexual Orientations
At the NFL combine at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, players are being asked questions targeted at discovering their sexuality, reports NFL prospect Nick Kasa.
Kasa, a senior at the University of Colorado, revealed in a radio interview on Tuesday that scouts asked him questions that led him to believe that they were trying to determine whether or not he was gay. During the scouting combine, Kasa, along with a few hundred other prospects, is subjected to interviews, in addition to participating in physical and mental testing.
“[Teams] ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?’ Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver’s CJ and Kreckman. “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.”
Professional male sports is often referred to as the last closet. Although players like Baltimore Ravens Brendan Ayanbadejo have become allies of the LGBT community and NFL players have come out of the closet post career, there’s yet to be an out pro footballer — and these interview questions make it less likely for the day to come in the near future.
Moreover, there are players like the 49ers’ Chris Culliver, who spouted his disapproval of gay players in his locker room prior to the Super Bowl. Although Culliver apologized and rescinded his statements, it’s not hard to fathom that he had believed what he said – “No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do."
Manti Te'o, alleged victim to a hoax perpetuated by a closeted male fan, faces suspicion that he may too be living in the closet. "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," NBC Sports's Dan Florio told radio host Dan 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."
The questions Kasa claims to have been asked are questions that are illegal in job interviews across the country. Isn’t the combine an interview for a job in the NFL? It’s cause to wonder if any of the interviewed players – if Te’o – said he ‘didn’t like girls,’ what the consequence would be. How good would a player have to be for his answer to that question not to matter?