This past year you surely have heard about the Manti Te’o
The once loved and iconic Notre Dame linebacker was involved in an Internet hoax with a supposed long-distance girlfriend.
But what Te’o supposedly didn’t know was this Internet girlfriend was actually Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a childhood friend and a man that admittedly fell in love with Te’o.
“He had no involvement,” Tuiasosopo said after the eventual uncovering of this controversy. Even though Tuiasosopo “cleared” Te’o’s name, questions were still being asked.
Is Manti Te’o gay? Did he know he was in a relationship with a man the whole time? Or was he as naive as he portrayed himself to be?
Fast forward to the NFL scouting combine in
This is where prospects at the college level come to get to know personnel in the NFL and show off their football talents.
After the Te’o controversy, some NFL scouts around the league wondered about other prospect players and their sexual orientation.
One NFL prospect, University of Colorado tight end Nick Kasa, was asked about it in his interview at the combine.
“(Teams) ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?’” Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver.
This started quite an outrage from fans, observers and equal rights’ advocates from around the league.
“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,” Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk said in an interview with The Ed 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. It shouldn’t be that way.”
The NFL, and most mainstream sports in general seemed to have adopted the once “Don’t ask, don’t tell” rule in military, which stated in short, you cannot be asked about your sexual orientation and they don’t want to know about it.
Well, at least until the Te’o controversy.
“Selfishly, I think players need to say that they’re straight right now…and keep everything so called, normal,” Brendon Ayanbadejo said in an interview with The Ed Show.
Ayanbadejo is in rare company in the NFL, as he is an equal rights supporter. There is not one single gay football player in all of the NFL. Well, not openly gay anyways.
“It’s just a matter of time, it’s going to happen really soon…right now at this NFL combine, I don’t think you’re going to see that though,” added Ayanbadejo.
One former NFL cornerback, Wade Davis, played in the NFL while hiding his bisexuality in hopes of having a successful career without being judged or persecuted because of it.
“You just want to be one of the guys, and you don’t want to lose that sense of family,” Davis said about being accepted by the team, but still hiding his bisexuality.
Davis recently came out last year and revealed his bisexuality. He has been a long time advocator for equal rights and continues the push for it. Davis also went on to say he knows of three people in the NFL right now that are gay and not willing to come out yet.
After Davis came out and the Te’o controversy unfolded, both Ayanbadejo and the media have talked about “the gay Jackie Robinson,” an outstanding player and public figure in sports to come out and revolutionize the sport’s views on homosexuality and equal rights in general.
When will this player come forward? Only time will tell.