No Discrimination: There will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the NFL, the Management Council, any Club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA.
Why clauses like this still have to written out is unbeknownst to me. It's sad that some people will still judge a person's character by the aforementioned discriminations. It's even worst to think that someone's athletic ability or ability to perform well in the NFL would have anything to do with their race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Some people's thought processes baffle me.
It's no secret that the NFL is currently investigating allegations that certain NFL teams at the 2013 Combine have been asking prospects about their sexual orientation-- a complete violation of Article 49, Section 1.
Colorado Tight End, Nick Kasa, reported that he was asked whether or not he liked girls during an interview at the NFL Scouting Combine. He claimed that during the interview process, teams would openly ask him about his sexuality.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio had reported that many coaches and GMs at the scouting combine wanted to know it Manti Te'o was gay-- which wouldn't be the first time his sexuality was questioned.
After the "Catfish" scandal broke, Katie Couric openly asked him if he was gay, which he denied. These allegations surfaced when Lennay Kekua, the women Te'o thought he was in an online relationship with, actually turned out to be a man named Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
But again, why would his sexuality matter? It doesn't affect how he can perform on the gridiron.
Florio said it best on the Dan Patrick Show:
"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. 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."As sad as that is, he's right, we have to step away from reality. There has never been an opening gay player to play in the NFL -- or any other professional sport. Players from other sports have, however, become open but only after retirement.
Is it because these homosexual players don't want to change the locker room dynamic? Is is because they don't want other players to treat them differently? Is it because they are afraid their teammates will be uncomfortable in the showers and changing?
Maybe. Was that what Florio was referring to when he said "... in an NFL locker room, it's a different world."?
Let's face it, even with all the acceptance of homosexuality that is beginning in the United States, some people are still uncomfortable around things they think seem different. It doesn't always mean they are ignorant.
With all that being said, what if the NFL teams didn't mean their questions to be taken so out of context?
Now, in the team's defense, the NFL Scouting Combine is all about testing the mental and physical toughness of players wishing to get a spot on an NFL roster come April. Questions like "Do you like girls?" could just be a way NFL teams will throw a wrench in the machine and try to throw the prospects off. Who's to say that these players won't be asked the same question in the locker room by nagging reporters. Maybe this was a team's way of seeing how a player can handle the tough, personal questions.
In the end, it's still not an appropriate question to ask in any interview because the answer doesn't matter. While the team's intentions aren't clear, the fact is they may be in violation of the discrimination rules.
Remember, no matter someone's race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc., we're all human beings. We all deserve to be treated with the same respect that you would like to be treated. Maybe someone doesn't have the same morals or values as you, does that make them a bad person? No, we all have our own thoughts. Get to know someone, before you pass judgement on their character.
At the end of the day, those factors don't make someone a better or worst NFL player -- or person for that matter.
To view an article about the above allegations in the New York Post, click the link!