NEW YORK, NY. (KPLR) – NFL scouts are keeping a close eye on their prospects during the combine, trying to decide who to pick during the upcoming draft.
Larry Mendte looks at why Notre Dame player Manti Te'o's name is coming up again; but not because of his skills on the field.
The last time we heard from Notre Dame Football player Manti Te`o, he was claiming he was duped by a make believe internet dead girlfriend.
Manti Te`o is back in the news again; in the combine where pro football teams get to see how fast and strong you are Te`o ran a 4.8 second 40, that is considered slow.
Te`o may have dropped from the first round to the second round of the draft and that will cost him millions of dollars.
But there is something else going on.
There are media reports out that NFL teams are investigating if Te`o is gay. They say privately they don`t want the distraction in the media or the locker room.
Now you might say, who cares.
But consider this - there is not one player in the four major professional team sports who has come out as gay while he was still playing.
It seems the most difficult closet door to open in America is the locker room where muscles and money allow grown men to act like adolescents.
Case in point Chris Culliver a player for the San Francisco 49ers when asked about a gay football player said 'can`t be with that sweet stuff, nah. In the locker room, nah.' he has since apologized but you get the attitude.
Across the country poll after poll shows America is becoming more and more accepting of homosexuality with 89 percent of Americans saying gay and lesbians should not be discriminated against.
But pro sports isn`t there yet, with NFL owners investigating a potential employee`s sexuality and openly homophobic locker rooms.
And we don`t even know if Manti Te`o is gay, nor should we know unless he is and he decides to make it public.
I believe the pro player who does come out will be surrounded by public support, but it takes someone with courage and the right temperament.
But once one player comes out, and the controversy subsides; it will be over, gay America is waiting for its Jackie Robinson.