Not that his sexual preference should matter, but in the world that is the NFL, it is the giant elephant in the room…or lockeroom. Te’o came under intense scrutiny after the world learned the heartbreaking story about his “girlfriend” dying of cancer, was a hoax. Instead, it was a man, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, behind the calls, texts, and emails of Lennay Kekua. Later, he would go on to say he was in love with Te’o. However Te’o claimed to had been “catfished”.
Hoping to put the incident behind him, Te’o worked out at the NFL combine for teams and scouts. However, Te’o’s football talent wasn’t the only thing on people’s minds.
CBS Chicago columnist Florio writes that “NFL teams aren’t buying Manti Te’o’s declaration that he’s not gay.”
“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,” Florio said on The Dan Patrick Show Monday.
“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.
“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.”
Now we all know that there are gay players in the NFL that choose not to come out for whatever reason. It is just sad that so much hoopla is surrounded around an athletes sexual preference and how it, not the player’s talent, is the focus. I hope one day that Te’o can live this down and move on with this life and focus on football.