The NFL is looking into allegations that certain teams may have asked a draft prospect about his sexual orientation.
Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Colorado tight end Nick Kasa was asked whether or not he liked girls during the interview process at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine,” NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement. “It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.
“In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Kasa said that during the interview process, teams outwardly questioned his sexuality.
“They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?’” Kasa said on the CJ and Kreckman show on ESPN Radio in Denver. “Those kinds of things. It was kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”
Kasa did preface those comments by saying the whole goal of the interview process is for the coaches to learn how mentally tough a player is and whether or not they can get into the prospect’s head.
“I think the whole point of the week is to play with your mind to see if you stay focused and stay driven,” Kasa said. “There was a couple of questions by coaches … they try to catch you off guard or try to say something you wouldn’t normally say … to see if they can get a reaction. They’re trying to see how badly they can get in your mind.”
Regardless of the purpose of the questioning, if team officials at the Combine did ask Kasa about his sexuality, they may have violated league policy against discrimination.
“Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline,” Aiello said.
The allegations come just days after it was revealed that teams wanted to know more about controversial Notre Dame linebacker prospect Manti Te’o’s sexual preferences.
Earlier in the week Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported that NFL coaches and GMs at the scouting combine wanted to find out if Te’o was gay.
“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 on 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.”
There have been several issues of team’s grilling prospects during the scouting combine, with the most recent one coming to mind being when Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked then Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant (now with the Cowboys) if his mother was a sex worker.
There has not ever been an openly gay player to play in the NFL or any other major team professional sport.
We keep saying it and it’s definitely true. It’s only a matter of time. Should these NFL teams be ashamed for inquiring about players sexual orientation?