Red Right 88

In Cleveland, hope dies last

This is what concerns NFL teams about Manti Te’o?

0edb0e25f7a4fa00250f6a7067000ad2It seems clear that there is enough evidence out there to make NFL teams realize that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o is not a first-round draft pick.

All they have to do is watch his performance against Alabama in the national championship game, where he was exposed every bit as much as Troy Smith in Ohio State’s 2007 game against Florida.

If they are still not convinced, they can check out his combine performance that failed to impress the coaches in attendance.

But that is apparently not enough for some people, as some teams reportedly are concerned about Te’o’s sexuality.

NFL Network’s Albert Breer is reporting that the first question that executives from two teams would ask Te’o if he is gay.

That comes a day after former Chicago quarterback Jim Miller went on a Chicago radio station to explain why – if Te’o was gay – that some empty-headed people who lack the capacity to think for themselves would reject him in the locker room.

“There are some religions that are just not going to accept a gay individual in the locker room,” Miller said. “So now, are you as an organization going to bring that element into your locker room and think everything is going to be OK?

“Last time I checked, whether it’s Christianity or Muslims or other religions that are out there, they’re just not going to accept it. They’re just not. It’s just not realistic … to think that everything is going to be OK in the locker room and we should all just wise up and accept it.”

So, because some prejudiced simpletons would have a problem with a gay teammate – and let’s remember, for a minute, no one actually knows if Te’o is a homosexual – then a team should avoid drafting him?

What year is this again? And how is this any different than saying you shouldn’t bring a black player or a Jewish player into the locker room?

Apparently this is becoming a thing, as Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell were reportedly asked about their sexuality at the combine. The league office is supposedly going to investigate this.

“We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine,” NFL spokesman Nick Aiello told Pro Football Talk. “Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.

“Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.  In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation.”

The other day on Sirius NFL Radio, Pat Kirwan laid out the one and only question teams should ask Te’o if they bring him in prior to April’s draft. Kirwan said they should sit Te’o down, put on the film of the Alabama game and ask, “what happened?”

That’s all that anyone really needs to know and all that matters.

The funny thing is, any team that thought Te’o was worthy of a first-round pick is probably not smart enough to care about his combine performance, his game against Alabama or the whole fake girlfriend incident.

And while we’re not a big fan of Te’o – and certainly don’t want the Browns to go anywhere near him – with the way the hoople heads are treating him we are starting to hope that he goes on to have a successful NFL career.

And if people can’t handle it, well, that’s their problem.

(Photo by Getty Images)

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