The NFL, gays and the locker room

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

Matt's Take:

Apparently at this year's NFL Scouting Combine, prospects' lifestyle choices were equally as important as their 40-yard dash times.

At least three attendees at the combine have come out — not literally — and said they were asked by team executives, with straight faces, whether or not they were married, had girlfriends or liked women.

Sounds like a bizarre line of questioning, right.

I'm sure that 95 percent of businesses, which NFL teams are, are shuddering at the thought of this, while human resource companies are lining up to file the first lawsuit.

I understand these questions are off limits and shouldn't be asked of anybody, but bear with me as I tell you why NFL execs should be able to question the players they want to bring into their locker rooms.

Let's begin with the obvious.

Football is a team sport where a group of grown men go to battle day in and day out during the course of a season, whether it's in the weight room, on the practice field or on game day. These men are creatures of habit.

Just like you and I desire to feel comfortable in our day-to-day lives, athletes are the same way. I know that I do my best work when I'm relaxed and comfortable.

Say there are players on a team who are not comfortable with homosexuality or believe it's wrong, they are not going to be at the top of their game or comfortable in their own locker room. I'm not saying it's right, but it's rational.

Player personnel directors and general managers in the NFL must win, and win fast, or they lose their jobs. Whether it's right or wrong, they are not going to jeopardize their teams' chemistry.

A player's sexual preference shouldn't matter, but in today's society it still does.

Andrew’s take:

It’s 2013, and a person’s sexual orientation should never hold weight on their perceived abilities.

The NFL is just another organization within the United States. There should not be any exceptions to basic human resource protocol.

During a job interview, the interviewer cannot inquire about religion, disability, country of origin, race, military discharge, age, marital status or sexual orientation.

But “sexual orientation” was a main topic during last month’s combine.

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa admitted that he was asked if he likes girls. That sounds pretty direct to me.

I’m sick of the special treatment sports get from the federal government. Baseball has received it for its human growth hormone witch-hunt, and now football is getting a pass, as they promote homophobia.

I see a soapbox that needs standing. And you can’t argue that I’m turning a sports topic into a political issue, because the sport already took care of that.

I really can’t wait until a superstar steps out of the closet. I hope it’s someone like Calvin Johnson or Blake Griffin; an athlete who can single-handedly disprove that idea that sexual orientation is, at all, tied to athletic success.

And I know that someone’s going to come back at me with the “democratic” argument. They’ll say that the administrators of a private entity have every right to “protect” their organization, and if forceful disclosure of private information achieves this level of protection, then so be it.

When it comes to political issues, I’m very understanding. We may disagree, but I’ll respect your opinion.

And then there’s “gay rights.”

If you do not believe that all people; gay, straight or anywhere in between; deserve complete equality, then you are wrong.

You have formed an opinion that is made of pure ignorance. You are making the world worse.

We’re talking about basic human rights.

The NFL is violating those rights, and it’s time that the United States protected every American in an equal fashion.