The NFL Combine is a place where teams can meet with and observe potential players that might be good fits for their organization. Obviously, the biggest part of the combine is the drills that the players go through ranging from athleticism to position specific drills, but another part of the Combine experience is the interviews that teams go through with the players.
Going through interviews is a part of applying for any job and the NFL isn’t any different. Most of the questions have to deal with their football IQ and their love for the sport but personal questions, specifically dealing with player’s sexual orientation, have become more common, especially in light of the Manti Te’o ordeal.
Former Colorado tight end and defensive end Nick Kasa went through the Combine experience this past week and one of the questions he was asked raised some eyebrows. When talking with CJ and Kreckman on the local ESPN Denver station on Tuesday Kasa dropped this tidbit about the interview process:
“They ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?'” Kasa said during his time on the show. “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.”
At what point do the questions that teams ask become too personal?
Professional athletes being gay is a very sensitive subject and obviously teams want to know how the player might fit in the locker room, but are they going too far? There are not very many openly gay athletes, and none in the NFL, so it’s unclear how a gay football player would be received in the locker room.
Kasa being asked if he “likes girls” is an invasion of his privacy, and frankly NFL teams should not be allowed to ask that.
Other companies are not allowed to ask those types of questions during the interview process, so why should the NFL be any different? Sure, they are dealing with investing millions of dollars in these players, but a player’s sexual orientation should not be involved in the decision making process.
Other football players have come out and said that they would not feel comfortable around an openly gay teammate, specifically San Francisco 49ers DB Chris Culliver. He expressed that gay players don’t belong in an NFL locker room and that “they gotta get up outta here if they do. Can’t be with that sweet stuff.”
His homophobic responses during the Super Bowl media day suggests that the NFL is not ready for an openly gay player. Clearly NFL teams feel the same way, or else the type of question that Kasa was asked during his Combine interview wouldn’t be thrown out there.