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Of all the questions you’ve gotten during a job interview, perhaps none will be as strange (or as offensive) as the one Nick Kasa says he was asked last week: “Do you like girls?”
Kasa, a senior tight end from the University of Colorado, says he was asked that question—among several others about his sexual orientation—last week during interviews at the National Football League’s pre-draft Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The 22-year-old former Legacy High School standout first mentioned the line of questioning during an interview with a Denver radio station, then told CNN the combine questions were “….kind of weird. But, like, they would ask you with a straight face….” The former CU player seemed to backpedal during another radio interview and said he thought the questions were made as a joke.
Regardless, Kasa—who did not say who asked him the questions—started a firestorm at the NFL’s headquarters and officials have vowed to investigate the claims. The Associated Press reported that DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFL players association, issued a statement that said: “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.”
And if stories are to be believed, Kasa’s interview was hardly an anomaly last week. A report surfaced that some teams wanted to know whether Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o—he of fake-girlfriend fame—is gay. Unlike with Colorado’s Kasa, no teams directly asked Te’o about his sexual orientation, most likely because of the public-relations disaster it would have created. Those who follow the combine will remember back to 2010, when a Miami Dolphins executive asked a prospective draftee whether his mother was a prostitute.
So what to make of this? First off, expect a spate of “is-the-NFL-ready-for-an-openly-gay-player?” stories. Secondly, sadly, don’t expect attitudes to significantly change. As San Francisco 49ers Chris Culliver said before the Super Bowl: “We don’t have any gay guys on the team. They gotta get up out of here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff.” In Culliver’s case—and in the cases of both Kasa and Te’o—there’s nothing sweet about these attitudes or comments.
—Image courtesy of Shutterstock