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NFL Prospect Nick Kasa Says Recruiters Asked About His Sexual Orientation

Earlier this week I reported on some remarks by sports columnist Mike Florio indicating that NFL recruiters at this year's Combine were interested in finding out whether or not Notre Dame linebacker, Manti Te'o is gay.

The interest presumably stems from questions surrounding Te'o and the fake girlfriend hoax.

KasaHowever, Te'o is reportedly not the only player to be asked about his sexuality, the HuffPost reports:

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.”

UPDATE: In remarks regarding this report, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Outsports the league is investigating:

“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process. 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. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”

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    To clarify - as Mr. Cobb's said - technically it is not illegal to ASK about sexual orientation (just like it's not illegal to ASK if you're married, if you have Asian ancestors, or if you're 60 years old.) BUT it IS illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in SOME places. So as an employment atty, I would tell a client not to ask about orientation (or marital status, or race or age), because why would it care or ask unless it was planning to discriminate on that basis? Asking is a "bad fact" if the company ends up being sued for discrimination.

    HOWEVER, Indiana (which is where the Combine took place) is one of 29(!) states that does NOT prohibit discrimination laws based upon sexual orientation. So if a company is hiring there its atty might advise it that it CAN ask if someone is gay, because IT'S LEGAL TO DISCRIMINATE AGAINST GAYS THERE!

    The proposed federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would cover all 50 states and make it much more difficult for any interviewer to claim to have a legal reason to ask about orientation and would therefore help reduce discriminatory hiring practices.

    Posted by: Buster | Feb 27, 2013 3:31:38 PM

  2. It's obvious while most players can handle a gay player, the owners can't.

    The difference? About 50 or more years.

    Posted by: Michael | Feb 27, 2013 3:45:11 PM

  3. @BUSTER: Are you sure Indiana laws would apply to a company headquartered in California (e.g., SF 49ers) just because the potential employee is "trying out" there? I'm not an attorney, but I would be surprised if a California team could get away with any violations of the California FEHA by claiming they "interviewed" the employee in Indiana.

    In my experience, San Francisco has the toughest protections in the country against virtually any sort of discrimination in hiring and I seriously doubt that the 49ers would try to claim that they were governed by the laws of the state of Indiana.

    Posted by: Ninong | Feb 27, 2013 3:52:11 PM

  4. Wow! This Nick Kasa guy is a big dude: 6'7", 245 lbs.

    Posted by: Ninong | Feb 27, 2013 4:04:28 PM

  5. While it is not illegal to ask questions about sex, national origin, race, age, disability, genetic information, or religion during a job interview, employers cannot make hiring or any other decision based on the answer to those questions, or inferences related to those classes. However, sexual orientation is not even a protected class in federal law, and only protected in 21 states. So, in 29 states, it is legal to overtly deny someone a job or fire them because of their sexual orientation.

    Posted by: Jake | Feb 27, 2013 4:41:24 PM

  6. "Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”

    Subject to fines and prosecution.

    Posted by: robert | Feb 27, 2013 5:02:54 PM

  7. NFL combine is an excuse for these handsome athletic young men to run around in tight shorts- it's soft core gay porn for straight men- who ever asked Mr Casa the question probably was impressed by his assets...

    Posted by: jaragon | Feb 27, 2013 5:43:52 PM

  8. It's all about the endorsements...thats why no one ever comes out

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Feb 27, 2013 6:18:42 PM

  9. The NFL is lying and has been lying for some time, as exposed by the phony baloney "it gets better" debacle.

    Posted by: niles | Feb 27, 2013 6:23:33 PM

  10. don't mean to be crass, but OMG Casa is hot.and B-I-G. hm-m. one can dream

    Posted by: tinhouston | Feb 27, 2013 6:23:44 PM

  11. don't mean to be crass, but OMG Casa is hot.and B-I-G. hm-m. one can dream

    Posted by: tinhouston | Feb 27, 2013 6:23:45 PM

  12. Disgusting. Kudos to Nick for speaking out. I hope they bust whoever asked the question and print his/their fraking name. The only way that line of questioning is acceptable is if they were going to ask Nick out...because that's what I'd do lol.

    Posted by: daws | Feb 27, 2013 6:24:08 PM

  13. @Ninoing - Sure, yes, you're right. If, say, the Raiders were discriminating there would probably be a claim under California law. I was trying to avoid over-complicating my basic point that in MOST states it's still perfectly legal for employers to say "we don't hire fags."

    (As for the 49ers and SF law -- now that I'm being all lawyer-y -- the Niners could argue that, while they play in SF at Candlestick, their actual hiring is done from their home office in Santa Clara, so they aren't subject to a discrimination claim under SF law any more than, say, the N.O. Saints would be just because they come play in SF. This is the kind of silly stuff lawyers get paid to argue about.)

    Posted by: Buster | Feb 27, 2013 7:43:11 PM

  14. All you "lawyers" out there: like many, I've hired for nearly 40 years in many states. The legality in this case isn't the statute, it's the hiring policies, in this case the NFL who, from what I've read here and elsewhere says they'll pursue what sounds like a problem with their recruiter, hsppens every day, doesn't involve the EOC. The violation was that of an employee. Kasa shows the happy shrug of young acceptance, not a plaintiff. Good for him.

    Posted by: Chevytexas | Feb 27, 2013 8:23:56 PM

  15. @BUSTER: Actually I wrote that the Niners would be subject to California FEHA (Calif. Fair Employment and Housing Act), as would any company in the state. What I meant about San Francisco, in particular, is that, unlike Orange County, juries in San Francisco are more likely to take the side of the plaintiff in such cases.

    Posted by: Ninong | Feb 27, 2013 8:29:32 PM

  16. Nick Kasa is such a big muscular beautiful guy that the recruiters couldn't help themselves. Nick is the kind of guy that almost all women, most gay men and lots of straight men would give it up to. Myself included. Nick, life is unfair. You are just going to have to accept the fact that you look like a god.

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 27, 2013 8:35:31 PM

  17. I have experienced similar questions at both an oil company and a major New York bank. It wasn't in the interviews, but after I had been hired that certain guys asked questions like "are you married?" followed by "Do you have a girlfriend?" The intent was pretty obvious. I didn't make an issue out of it because laws and policies can't cover every scenario and these questions can easily be claimed to be innocent curiosity.

    At Megabank, the culture of "diversity" and the "safe workplace" had everyone so uptight that many people never spoke to other people unless it was absolutely necessary. Before they were done, the place was almost all female. Apparently women will put up with that crap but men won't.

    Posted by: David Hearne | Feb 27, 2013 9:58:49 PM

  18. It may be unacceptable...but his football career just went right out the window....he will never get hired for "squealing". Its the NFL....they can do what they want in the hiring process.

    Posted by: Stephen | Feb 27, 2013 10:54:22 PM

  19. It is weird. I once had a marine ask me if I had a girlfriend. Then he asked if I had a boyfriend. And for a split second, I thought about replying, "Are you hitting on me?," but before knew it, I had already scowled my face (in bewilderment, not anger) and said no.

    Posted by: Garst | Feb 27, 2013 11:03:56 PM

  20. wow he must be gay if he is feeling weird about the questions. if he is just say yes if not say no its just that simple

    Posted by: nola | Feb 27, 2013 11:38:58 PM

  21. As I attempted to say twice in a post that was for some reason moderated away: he's almost certainly straight (dommage) and they asked him well knowing he would leak it. Your "reasoning" is 100% flawed, Nola. If he were closeted, he would never have revealed the question. If they do ask someone who's a college football player and is closeted, that person is already going to be good at himself and others. That's why this whole thing seems like a bit of a red herring.

    Posted by: EchtKultig | Feb 27, 2013 11:49:21 PM

  22. "It may be unacceptable...but his football career just went right out the window....he will never get hired for "squealing". Its the NFL....they can do what they want in the hiring process."

    It's not just the NFL. A lot of high-paying, high-profile employers do whatever they want in the hiring process and even after you're employed as well.

    Posted by: Kahoko | Feb 28, 2013 12:37:20 AM

  23. @nola: his reaction to the question does not indicate that he is gay. If he is straight, he probably has half the women at his university trying to get a date with him and could go out with whomever he wanted. It would have been so obvious that nobody would ever have bothered to ask such a question. No wonder it sounded weird to him.

    Posted by: Bill | Feb 28, 2013 1:22:01 AM

  24. Legal, illegal -- does it really matter? This is not a country of laws. Few violations of anything get prosecuted. There is always an insider elite that rules. Unless you want to spend 10 years or more in litigation and ruin any prospect of practicing whatever profession you love, you are going to play along. If we can extrapolate from other estates, pro sports has a huge DL quotient with big names in on the big secret, and fresh willing blood is regularly recruited to fill stables, fresh blood more than enthusiastic about keeping the secret and playing the double-life game.

    Posted by: J.D. | Feb 28, 2013 8:22:30 PM

  25. Hot guy like that? Most likely gay, or at least bi/vague.

    Whatever, the NFL asking him that question was weird, and inappropriate.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Feb 28, 2013 9:48:44 PM

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