Brendon Ayanbadejo: Prospective NFL players may have to lie that they’re straight to get drafted
NFL player and equal rights advocate, Brendon Ayanbadejo, has expressed regret at the fact that gay, prospective NFL players may need to lie about their sexuality, when asked, in order to get drafted as professional players.
The 2013 Super Bowl Champion went on to say that it may be necessary, in order for a gay player to make a bigger impact by coming out once already established.
The linebacker for the Baltimore Ravens, the team that won this year’s Super Bowl, was asked what University of Colorado tight end, Nick Kasa, should have responded when he was asked at an NFL scouting event when he was asked if he “liked girls”.
He suggested that the sad reality was that some players might need to say they were straight, when asked, in order to get drafted. Going on to mention the short time-span of the average NFL player’s career, he said it was important to start working promptly.
Speaking to the Ed Show on MSNBC, he said: “Selfishly, I think players need to say that they’re straight right now… You need to get drafted as high as you can get drafted, get the money while you can. Your career’s only going to last 3.5 years.”
Mr Ayanbadejo went on to say that, it may be important to lie at first, because a gay player could make more of an impact by coming out after he has established a career, and a reputation on the field.
He said: “The way things are going right now with the bigotry that still exists and discrimination that still exists within the locker room and sports arena in general, I think you need to say, ‘Hey, I’m straight. I love women.’ And keep things so-called normal,” he said.
“Maybe later, once you’ve established yourself and when we break down some of these walls in the NFL, players will be more comfortable to be who they are,” he continued.
Nick Kasa attended an NFL Scouting Combine at the weekend, and said that he had been asked whether he “liked girls”, but declined to say who had asked him the question.
Some critics have speculated that the question may have violated the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The NFL also released a statement condemning the alleged question.
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It read: “It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.”
Mr Kasa did go on to say, on Wednesday on the Dan Patrick Show on ESPN that he didn’t think it “was really a serious question”.