One of the biggest controversies of the college football season ended up being Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o non-existent dead girl friend who ended up being actually alive but with a different sex organ. Yeah, it was a little wild there at the end of the season, but all that controversy is following the Flyin’ Hawaiian into his NFL career and it created a mini-controversy this weekend when teams allegedly asked Te’o if he was gay.
In case you’re wondering: no, teams cannot ask a player about their sexual orientation and so far no one has been identified as asking Te’o the forbidden question of what team he bats for. But while it’s mini-controversey a lot of people are rolling their eyes at due to the fact we’re all sick of hearing about Lennay Kekua and anything that has to do with whatever Lennay Kekua actually is, the issue of sexual orientation and sports has gone to a level it’s never been to before and the Te’o scandal is quickly becoming the poster child of the movement.
It’s honestly a question we’re all wondering about because as good, clean American’s we love to stick our noses in other people’s business — specifically well known people. But it’s been long discussed that we will one day have an openly gay player playing in the NFL and some believe Te’o is the closest thing we’ve had to that.
But the NFL is starting to recognize they have a nuclear crisis on their hands, one that if left unwatched will destroy the sport — not because we’ll have a gay player playing in the NFL, but we have straight players afraid of a gay player in the NFL.
From Matt Birk to Jim Miller — both of whom have thankfully retired from the NFL, there are players who are not afraid to stand up for their beliefs, no matter how inhumane the may be. This isn’t a sports issue, this is a human rights issue and the NFL is very quickly realizing this and it’s scaring the living daylights out of them.
Te’o has refused to out anyone who allegedly tried to out him at the combine, but this is a situation we’ve seen time and time again, it’s called high school. Whether or not Te’o is gay is becoming irrelevant, and the story is becoming how the NFL is resembling a 1980′s high school locker room where men actually think that walking around a gay man will somehow destroy their soul.
However, while there are people in the NFL like Matt Birk and Jim Miller, there are also players like Brendon Ayanbadjeo and Chris Kluwe who are not afraid to stand up for the human rights of their peers.
If you were comfortable sweeping the issue of homosexuality in the NFL under the rug before this, those days are gone. The story used to be what the impact of a gay football player would have on our understanding of the human race, but instead it’s becoming yet another tale of how we as a people are not yet ready to embrace freedom to it’s fullest extent.
Homosexuality is going somewhere, it’s going mainstream more than it already has. But the tragedy is that bigots are not and as it turns out, a lot of us may be wearing their names on the back of our shirts when we go out in public.
So the question is, who is really outing who here?