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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. How ironic. Te'o started this whole fake girlfriend mess to hide his homosexuality, and all it did was draw attention to it.

    How fitting that his gayness fell victim to "The Streisand Effect".

    Posted by: Firestorm | Feb 25, 2013 4:22:14 PM

  2. After the 49ers debacle prior to the Super Bowl and now all this business, I'm DONE with the NFL. I will spend my energy, enthusiasm ans sports dollars elsewhere.

    Posted by: Tom in SF Bay Area | Feb 25, 2013 4:22:44 PM

  3. @LCR JAY: Denial doesn't mean anything nowadays.

    Remember how many times Ricky Martin, Clay Aiken and Anderson Cooper said no when asked if they were gay?

    Posted by: Firestorm | Feb 25, 2013 4:25:33 PM

  4. What if living his real authentic life is a straight life. He was the victim of an internet hoax. If he is straight his possible NFL career may be hindered by NFL homophobia. If they do ask him if he is gay and he says no he is straight will they believe him? Will his answer make any difference?

    Posted by: Swiminbuff | Feb 25, 2013 5:49:39 PM

  5. Hmmm.... All these people so desperate to get involved in someone else's sex life and yet knowing that they'll be hounded for it if they do.

    You know, there's a great, big, festive clue in there: Perhaps you shouldn't be getting involved in someone else's sex life if you aren't an active participant in it.

    Posted by: Rrhain | Feb 25, 2013 6:06:15 PM

  6. he may not be gay--but i'll be gddmed if he ain't hot enough to be!

    Posted by: DannyEastVillage | Feb 25, 2013 6:31:45 PM

  7. Here's what he should do: Claim to be straight. Sign the contracts, get the first pay check, and then come out.

    Let the sons of bitches at the NFL deal with it if they have a problem.

    Posted by: Randy | Feb 25, 2013 8:11:06 PM

  8. Pro football teams want to know but are too afraid to ask. LOL Is that anybody's idea of macho?

    Posted by: andrew | Feb 25, 2013 9:00:04 PM

  9. Teo is a graphic design major. I'm just sayin....

    Posted by: Rob | Feb 25, 2013 9:14:17 PM

  10. Who the f- cares, if the man is gay? Gullible, yes. Gay? If he says yes, he will get hate mail, give NBC Sports a hard on and will get bullied in the locker room.

    Posted by: M.Scott Hernandez | Feb 25, 2013 10:07:33 PM

  11. There's probably homophobia involved here with the NFL but in my eyes Manti Te'o doesn't seem very trustworthy person because of the whole fake girlfriend thing. The teams are probably worried that something else might pop up about him, and it's not necessarily about his sexuality then.

    And you can't forget the Manti Te'o meme of people taking photos holding their invisible girlfriends, I mean the dude was laughed at all over the world.

    If he's gay, though, I wished he'd come out as fast as possible and try to move on with his life. But let's face it: he's in a quite difficult spot right now with his family and the religion and everything. I feel a bit bad for him actually, it's a tough situation for him whatever his sexuality is.

    Posted by: kode | Feb 25, 2013 11:54:09 PM

  12. So Teo needs to be asked if he is gay because of locker room issues and his homosexuality being a distraction to the team?

    Bringing up the locker room issue is tired, talk about insecurity. Its time to expect some basic maturity from pro athletes. I can't believe someone who is a public figure, makes millions, and has been in locker rooms all their life would just crumble under the "gaze" of a gay teammate. If they do then it is their issue, and their issue alone. Not the gay athlete, not the team, not the fans.

    Posted by: anony6 | Feb 26, 2013 12:07:03 AM

  13. Sounds like the gays in the military showers hysteria of twenty years ago

    Posted by: rick scatorum | Feb 26, 2013 6:21:43 AM

  14. People, People... Teo has constructed an elaborate closet and an exit strategy. If he is drafted in the first round, this is moot. If he is not gone by the second round he will come clean when he retires. The Not Forever Lucid knows that he is a cash cow at the moment either way: If he succeeds they make money, if he comes out they make money, if they don't wanna take a chance on him the homophobic base will still buy season tickets. Remember Michael Vick?

    Posted by: DC Arnold | Feb 26, 2013 8:25:40 AM

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