Thursday, February 28, 2013

Te'o's Sexuality Should Not Be Open Book for Employers

Yahoo Sports published an article on Tuesday night that said 13 of the 32 NFL football teams are fully within their rights to ask a player if he is gay. The Indianapolis Colts are one of the 13 teams that can ask.

Apparently, it depends on what state the NFL team comes from and what type of organization the team is. With the Colts, they are not a public company thus are not covered by the anti-discrimination laws. They can ask a player if he is gay and not feel pressured by a lawsuit because they’ve done nothing legally wrong. They would, however, do something morally wrong by asking that question, and I think that’s the larger point.

The subject of the article was Manti Te’o’s sexuality. Many have circulated the rumor that Te’o might be gay because of the whole girlfriend that did not truly exist scandal surrounding him.

Let’s say, hypothetically, a player like Te’o is gay. Does it change his ability to play football? Is he any less of a linebacker? Furthermore, what business is it of an NFL team what goes on way behind the scenes.

I understand that these teams are investing big time money in these young men, but I think these kinds of point-blank questioning strategies only make the players bottle up their secrets inside. If the NFL fostered an open and honest workplace where players could feel secure admitting their true sexuality, I think the level of play would go up. It takes a lot of work to hide one’s sexuality…especially in the professional sports world.

It’s time for a federal law that mandates, on a civil rights basis, that organizations of any kind cannot ask a prospective employee about his or her sexual orientation. That should go for not only the NFL but any business.

UPDATE:
It appears the Indianapolis Colts would be covered under the Human Rights Ordinance for Marion County.  Hat tip to Abdul-Hakim Shabazz who brought this possibility to my attention.  Thus, it appears that they could not ask Te'o questions about his sexuality.

1 comment:

IndyDem said...

I dont know if the HRO would cover ASKING about sexuality. It would prevent being fired.. but I doubt they would be prevented from asking.
Zach