One day after Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk told radio host Dan Patrick that NFL teams were extremely curious about the sexual orientation of Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o — the NFL prospect once famous for his play, and now famous for his non-existent girlfriend — it seems the interest isn’t limited to Te’o. Tight end and NFL prospect Nick Kasa said on Tuesday that he was asked by scouts about his sexual orientation at the NFL Combine.
Kasa, a senior tight end from the University of Colorado, made the statements in a radio interview on Tuesday. Speaking to CJ and Kreckman of ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday, he said:
[Teams] ask you like, “Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?” 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.
On Monday, Florio said:
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. 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.
Te’o has repeatedly said he was duped in the Lennay Kekua case — it turns out that Kekua, who Te’o said was one of the inspirations, along with his dead grandmother, for his great gameplay. However, once it was discovered that Kekua never existed, but was instead a fictitious character that was created by Te’o’s acquaintance, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, questions about his sexual orientation have dogged him. When Te’o was interviewed by Katie Couric about the incident, one of her questions was:
One of the theories, many theories, Manti, making the rounds is that you created this whole scenario to cover up your sexual orientation. Are you gay?
Te’o’s answer was quite clear:
No. Far from it. Far from it.
Meanwhile, when Tuiasosopo appeared with Dr. Phil to address the issue, the prankster said he had fallen in love with Te’o during the hoax, adding,
If you look at this situation and everything that I’ve been through, I would say yeah I’m gay. But honestly I’m so confused.
It seems the NFL is quite concerned about homosexuality entering its locker rooms. Some players are, too. Prior to Super Bowl XLVII, San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver made the following anti-gay comments to Artie Lang:
I don’t do the gay guys man. I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.