NFL prospect Nick Kasa was asked by scouts about his sexual orientation at the NFL Combine, the tight end said in a radio interview on Tuesday.
Kasa, a senior at the University of Colorado, is one of a few hundred players who participated this week in the NFL Scouting Combine, an annual showcase for NFL prospects in advance of April's draft. Over the course of the Combine, participants submit themselves for a variety of physical and mental tests, as well as interviews with NFL teams. According to Kasa, it was during these interviews that the topic of his sexual preferences came up.
“[Teams] ask you like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ Do you like girls?’” Kasa told CJ and Kreckman of ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday. “Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”
The comments come a day after Mike Florio of NBC Sports and ProFootballTalk told radio host Dan Patrick that NFL teams were extremely curious about the sexual orientation of Notre Dame's Manti Te'o. Te'o, of course, has been dogged by such questions since the Lennay Kekua bombshell dropped last month.
"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 said to Patrick. "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 level of tolerance -- or intolerance -- in NFL locker rooms recently garnered attention when San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver made anti-gay comments before Super Bowl XLVII.
"I don't do the gay guys man," Culliver said during a radio interview with comedian Artie Lang just days before the game, according to Yahoo. "I don't do that. No, we don't got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do."
Although the 49ers would issue a statement rejecting his comments and Culliver would later apologize, such discriminatory statements overshadow the progressive stances of NFL players like Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe. Both Ayanbadejo and Kluwe are outspoken advocates for gay marriage and LBGT equality.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Nick Kasa played football at Colorado University.