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Is It Okay for NFL Teams to Ask a Player if He’s Gay? — Sports Survey of the Day

Manti Teo scouting combine press conference
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

At the recent NFL Scouting Combine, at least one player claims that he was asked, essentially, whether or not he was gay. Now an NFL spokesperson has said that the league will investigate such claims.

The topic initially came up because of Manti Te’o, the Heisman Trophy runner-up whose non-relationship with a fake Twitter girlfriend caused a huge stir in January. Many speculated that Te’o made up the girlfriend as cover for his being gay; Te’o denied the rumor, saying he is “far from [gay].”

But on Tuesday Nick Kasa, a tight end out of Colorado, told ESPN radio that he was asked about his sexual preferences at the combine. “[Teams] ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?'” Kasa said.

Such questions may run afoul of federal employment-discrimination laws. The NFL responded, saying, “It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.”

DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, addressed the situation: “I know that the NFL agrees that these types of questions violate the law, our CBA and player rights. I hope that they will seek out information as to what teams have engaged in this type of discrimination and we should then discuss appropriate discipline.”

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