Sports Opinion & Analysis

Don’t Ask, Don’t…You Know What, Just Don’t Ask.

In College, NFL on March 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

By Jonathan Danielson

During the Super Bowl, San Francisco 49er Chris Culliver told shock jock Artie Lang that gay players were not allowed in the locker room. “We don’t got no gay people on the team,” Culliver eloquently told Lang. “They gotta get up out of here if they do.”

"The only thing worse than my comments was my coverage in the Super Bowl."

“The only thing worse than my point-of-view was my coverage in the Super Bowl.”

In an age when Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell has been repealed, and the Obama Administration is asking the Supreme Court to overturn Prop 8, California’s anti-gay marriage measure, it’s easy to understand how Culliver’s comments did not go over well. The backlash was actually so bad, you would think NFL executives would quickly take notice to it, and to the changing winds of the times. That they would quickly realize the days of freely expressing anti-gay and bigoted views, as well as implementing policies shaped by that mindset, would no longer be tolerated or go unnoticed.

Instead, during last week’s NFL Combine, prospect Nick Kasa told ESPN Radio in Denver that teams were inquiring about his, and other potential players sexual orientation. The University of Colorado senior said that, during the extensive interviewing process, teams asked questions like “Are you married?” as well as “Do you have a girlfriend?” and “Do you like girls?” To make matters worse, the executives also supposedly asked all of this with a straight face.

"Are you, or have you ever been associated with the Homosexual Party?"

“Are you, or have you ever been associated with the Homosexual Party?”

Only a day before Kasa broke news of the inquisition interview process, did Mike Florio of NBC Sports tell Dan Patrick on his radio show that teams were clamoring at the bit to ask Notre Dame star, Manti Te’o, about his sexuality following the now infamous Lennay Kekua scandal/hoax/hilariousness. Apparently team owners, presidents, and general managers think it’s not bad enough to be duped online by a dude pretending to be a girl who doesn’t exist, but that Te’o had to be a homosexual as well. And apparently, nothing is worse than that.

This type of thinking at the upper levels and locker rooms of professional sports, regardless the sport, needs to stop, and needs stop now. If this were the interviewing process for any other company or corporation, this business would be sued, and sued quickly for breaking the law. If this was how employees treated other coworkers at the workplace, the offending employee would rightfully be fired. Just because the NFL is a giant, multi-billion dollar operation, doesn’t mean they get to get away with acting however unprofessional and backwoodsy they want. This is the wrong side of history, and it’s not like professional sports hasn’t been on the wrong side of history before.

When was that again? I’m sure there was some time or another when team owners were against breaking the status quo, and it took a defining moment and person to stand up for what was right. To stand up for the rights of others in their position. When was that again? If only I could remember…

42-movie

I’m sure it will come to me.

When it’s all said and done, Gay Rights is a Civil Rights issue. This is about letting people love whomever they love, and be attracted to whomever they’re attracted to. It’s about not having that issue be an issue, or be any bearing on whether that person can perform the duties essential of their job, whether that job is at a desk in an office, or throwing a football in front of millions of people. If that person, regardless of their race, religion, or sexuality, can do that job better than anyone else, nothing else should matter. Now it’s time for the NFL to get with the times and hire based on that, and only that.

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