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Pundit: Pro Teams Want to Know if Manti Te'o is Gay But Nobody at the NFL Combine Has the Nerve to Ask — AUDIO

Florio and NBC Sports pundit Mike Florio, who has been observing the NFL Combine, was interviewed today on The Dan Patrick Show and told Patrick that, where Manti Te'o is concerned, teams and coaches want to know if he is gay or not but won't bring it up because they know it will create headlines, distractions, and media noise.

Watch (starts at around 2:50), AFTER THE JUMP...

Farfromit_teoSaid Florio:

"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. It shouldn't be that way. I don't think you can ask that question -- If you go Katie Couric on Manti Te'o, it's going to come out that some team, some GM some coach asked Manti Te'o if he's gay. Then you'll have to deal with all the distraction and all the stuff that flows after that."

Asked Patrick:

"You're telling me that you're hearing from teams who want to know this, but how do you ask it? Are they trying to find a finesse way to ask that question, or are they going to do investigative work on finding out if Manti Te'o is gay?"

Responded Florio:

"It's been described to me as the proverbial elephant in the room and I don't think anyone knows how to solve this dilemma yet. It's just that they want to know what they're getting. They want to know what issues they may be dealing with down the road. We just assumed that at some point there would be an openly gay player in an NFL locker room and the team would have to work with the realities and make sure that everything's fine. Now you have a situation where you have a guy who was in a relationship with a fake girl who ended up being a real man, and the man has said to Dr. Phil that he was romantically in love with Manti Te'o, it just raises a lot of questions that the NFL at some point is going to have to deal with. Tony Dungy makes a great point on this. If the NFL were ready for an openly gay player, there would be an openly gay player. Nobody knows better the feel of an NFL locker room than someone who's in it. 'm not saying anyone would take Manti Te'o off the board if they suspected he's gay or know he's gay. That's just the thing that's out there that they want to know the answer to."

Watch (starts at around 2:50), AFTER THE JUMP...

In an interview that aired in January, Te'o told Katie Couric that he's not gay when she asked him if he made up the dead girlfriend story to hide his sexual orientation.

"Far from from it," said Te'o. "Faaaaar from that."

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  1. He is a victim of Munchhausen by internet. Look it up folks

    Posted by: Roger | Feb 25, 2013 2:55:03 PM

  2. Jeez of course he's gay. There's a ton of facts that he is, and very few that he's straight.

    Posted by: Paul R | Feb 25, 2013 2:57:37 PM

  3. "Tony Dungy makes a great point on this." You mean virulent homophobe/gay marriage opponent Tony Dungy? Yeah, I'm sure he does.

    Posted by: chris | Feb 25, 2013 3:00:37 PM

  4. If he is gay, then I feel really bad for him.
    Not because of the fact, but it's an impossible situation.
    That is an awful position that he may have felt compelled to put himself in.

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Feb 25, 2013 3:03:33 PM

  5. ...or it's an opportunity for him to live an authentic life rather than an unhappy, repressed one.

    Posted by: chris | Feb 25, 2013 3:06:18 PM

  6. Yes, he most likely is. And, why does (should) it matter?

    Posted by: Nino | Feb 25, 2013 3:08:33 PM

  7. @nino I trust you're being rhetorical since we do not live in vacuums, or even in tolerant societies in which each and every person we encounter is across-the-board accepting of all manners of diversity. Geez what a world that would be. So when you are done riding unicorns around on rainbows, you might realize it does matter to a lot of people - for and against. Being dismissive has never added to a conversation.

    Posted by: Bollux | Feb 25, 2013 3:18:01 PM

  8. Ignore all pundits... especially sports and political... it's the only way to get rid of this infestation.

    Posted by: Eric | Feb 25, 2013 3:23:46 PM

  9. IF he is gay, and I don't have a strong opinion either way, he may not have accepted it himself yet. From what I gathered in news reports at the time he is from a very repressed/repressive Mormon family, not likely to be accepting of a gay child.

    It seems to be a fact that the other guy presented himself as female for whatever reason. Whether T'eo knew that or not is open to interpretation. He certainly lied either before or after. Either he lied about having met his "girlfriend" in person or he later lied about never having met "her."

    Posted by: Caliban | Feb 25, 2013 3:28:24 PM

  10. Homophobia destroys another career.

    Posted by: Kevin | Feb 25, 2013 3:29:52 PM

  11. This isn't surprising. The smoke is there with Te'o, and the issue of closeted guys in sports is becoming more and more of a forefront issue and an issue that has become more than an issue in sport and has become a societal and global issue, and a reflection of our societies' acceptance, or lack their of, of us. NFL executives are probably scared as hell at the thought of a player coming out because I'm sure they don't have any policies in place to deal with what undoubtedly will be a calamitous situation, as sad as that is. Sports executives in general probably know that, sooner than later, players are going to come out. Whether they're willing to have a gay player on their team, whether they're prepared to handle the aftermath of a gay player coming out (or being outed), whether players are actually OK about it in the locker room instead of saying they will be to look good for the media..........we'll see what happens.

    Posted by: Francis | Feb 25, 2013 3:30:24 PM

  12. We're talking serious money here. Manti's a little under-sized, but with his speed and competitiveness he had been commanding a huge amount of interest. But he did not play well against Alabama in the high-profile national title game (right when the distractions came out), and his 40-yd time at the combine was meh, so there are several excuses other than the whole catfishing/gay peccadillo as to why Manti might drop out of the top draft round.

    If Manti was a first-round draft pick then drops down the charts and isn't drafted until much later, many millions of dollars that would have gone to Manti, don't. We'll have a dollar figure on the cost of gay rumors and homophobia--compare his actual draft position to what was anticipated before all of this started. Unless you want to blame the drop on the other issues. Paging Nate Silver...

    I understand Manti is very religious. Nevertheless, I'm surprised he hasn't had a publicist or agent counsel him to quickly get a girl pregnant. Or at least release some "incriminating" pictures of him at strip clubs, or with a woman, maybe two. I wager a few of the gold star gays here would agree to be photographed licking some woman's boob if they knew it would mean an extra $5M in their paycheck.

    Posted by: SC David | Feb 25, 2013 3:32:08 PM

  13. Here is the real dealz: Being gay is not a terrible thing anymore, it's great and we are great.

    SO, if you ever, for any reason "stay in the closet", then you are saying that you don't want to join the awesome people at gay.

    IE, if this guy says he is straight, then he is! If in reality he is super gay, irrelevant!, means nothing until he comes out, then he can experience all that stuff, like ramifications and freedom.

    When someone suspected of being gay is called out or pondered over in media, take the position of "who cares" and/or "we can't all be awesome". If they don't want to come in it doesn't matter, we are great with or without.

    Posted by: Fensox | Feb 25, 2013 3:36:50 PM

  14. The guys in the barracks of my Special Operations unit 10 years ago didn't have a problem with me being gay. I can't imagine that the locker room of an NFL team today would be any less accepting. Come out, already, gay football players. You'll be glad you did.

    Posted by: BABH | Feb 25, 2013 3:38:36 PM

  15. I don't think he is gay, he is socially awkward and hid behind the safety of the internet.

    Posted by: Gus | Feb 25, 2013 3:39:00 PM

  16. @SC DAVID -- if he followed your suggestions, he would tear apart his family and his local mormon coven.
    If you are not familiar with mormonity, it is hard to understand the repression and restraint against emotional growth.

    Posted by: Bob | Feb 25, 2013 3:39:35 PM

  17. Wasn't he already asked if he was a homosexual, and didn't he say that he wasn't? Just like the homosexual community to want to keep on pressing something like this in hopes of browbeating the answer they want.

    Posted by: LCR Jay | Feb 25, 2013 3:43:56 PM

  18. INSTITUTIONALIZED homophobia. they should be ashamed they even want to know and that it's an issue that even made THIS headline.

    Posted by: redball | Feb 25, 2013 3:45:01 PM

  19. What facts are there that he is Gay? A gay guy fell in love with him and used a female voice and face to trick him.

    Posted by: Kim | Feb 25, 2013 3:47:27 PM

  20. @LCR Jay - He did. He said he wasn't so the issue needs to be dropped. Sure, he could be lying, but so are about 1% of the other players in the NFL.

    Posted by: Cal | Feb 25, 2013 3:48:43 PM

  21. i wrote dan patrick and explained about dungy and suggested he canvass some other coaches and owners. at least he'd get a mix. i also mentioned the NHL as how you get a league ready, from the top down.

    Posted by: bandanajack | Feb 25, 2013 3:50:04 PM

  22. For the record, Teo is not "far from" gay. He had a two-year relationship with another man. Even if it is true that he did not realize this was another man - and I find that incredibly hard to believe - he did connect on an emotional level with this guy. That is pretty close to gay, in my book.

    Posted by: CPT_Doom | Feb 25, 2013 4:00:21 PM

  23. NFL teams are homophobic organizations like established religion.

    Posted by: rise | Feb 25, 2013 4:02:03 PM

  24. This is silly. In his interview with Katie Couric, she asked him point blank if he was gay. He denied it. Let it drop. Interviewers don't need to continue to hound him with the same question over and over again. His reps have made it clear to all who interview him that he is there to talk about the game and that all questions regarding his sexuality are off limits.

    Posted by: Coch | Feb 25, 2013 4:06:10 PM

  25. Why should his sexuality matter?

    Posted by: rise | Feb 25, 2013 4:11:45 PM

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