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NFL Sex Questions Spark League’s Probe Into Teams Asking Sexual Orientation

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 28 Feb 2013 02:17 PM

The National Football League announced on Wednesday that it would launch an investigation into whether team scouts recently questioned a draft prospect about his sexuality.

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa has said he fielded a series of questions from NFL team scouts aimed at discerning his sexual orientation, such as if he had a girlfriend and whether or not he liked girls.

In response, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in a statement: "We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process."

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Aiello's statement continues, "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 . . . Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline."

In an interview with an ESPN Radio show in Denver, Kasa claimed such questions concerning his sexuality were asked by scouts.

"They ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?'" Kasa told ESPN. "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."

In the ESPN interview, Kasa acknowledged that much of the questioning draftees are subject to are intended to reveal how mentally tough a player is to coaches, and to what extent they allow reporters to get into their head, particular under stressful circumstances.

"I think the whole point of the week is to play with your mind to see if you stay focused and stay driven. 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," said Kasa.

The issue of NFL wanting to know the sexuality of prospective players prior to making their draft selection was brought to the forefront earlier this week when it was rumored that several pro football teams inquired about the sexuality of former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o, who was involved in a love hoax that confused much of the nation earlier in the year.

According to NBC Sports’ Mike Florio, NFL teams that are considering selecting Te'o in the upcoming 2013 draft, are interested in knowing whether the star college player is gay or not.

"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 told 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. It shouldn’t be that way."

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When asked in late January by Katie Couric on her ABC show "Katie" if he is gay, Te'o flatly denied the suggestion telling the host with a laugh, "no, far from it [pause] far from it." Couric didn't press the question.

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