WASHINGTON – An NFL hopeful has unleashed a firestorm over sexuality in sports but is standing by his statements, even as he worries how it could affect his chances in the draft.
Instead of being asked questions about his speed or agility during the NFL combine, team scouts asked tight end Nick Kasa “Do you have a wife, do you like girls?”
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan tells WTOP about her interview with Kasa, who first revealed the unusual round of questions to a Denver radio station.
Kasa told Brennan that he found the line of questioning “weird.”
In fact, both the NFL and the NFL Players Association told Brennan that such questions are illegal. They also would violate the players’ collective bargaining agreement and said teams that asked Kasa about his love life should be reprimanded.
“You cannot ask these questions as a prospective employer,” Brennan says.
But Kasa is worried that speaking out could reduce his success in the upcoming draft, she says.
“He is very concerned, obviously, as a young man about this story becoming such a big deal,” Brennan says. “He’s hoping it will blow over.”
In her column Thursday Brennan writes, “He shouldn’t be punished for talking about the questions he was asked. He should be praised for revealing – probably unwittingly, but revealing nonetheless – how backward and out of touch some NFL personnel apparently are at a time when nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized gay marriage, and when a majority of Americans are in favor of it, according to public opinion polls.”
Kasa’s experience at the combine comes on the heels of the Manti Te’o hoax. The Notre Dame player told reporters that his girlfriend died, but he never had a girlfriend to begin with. The convoluted story prompted many to wonder if Te’o is gay and television host Katie Couric even asked him that in an interview.
But Brennan writes that unlike the NFL, Couric isn’t a prospective employer.