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Does Anyone Put the Man in Manti Te'o?

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After Manti Te'o's fake girlfriend fiasco/unceremonious smackdown in the BCS title game, Katie Couric asked him point blank if he was gay:

Te'o: No, far from it, far from it.

Couric: You are not, yourself, a homosexual?

Te'o: I said no. I ain't no fairy. I've had some experiences ...but I'm out of it now.

Couric: Out of it?

Te'o: Yes, ma'am.

Couric: Would you explain to the viewers at home what you mean by that?

Te'o: It's wrong. The Bible says so.

Couric: The Bible also says it's wrong to lie. How long have you been out of it?

Te'o: Almost 2 weeks.

Couric: Good for you, Manti. Good for you.

 

So... maybe part of that interview came from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil... Anyways, now NFL teams are allegedly interested in Te'o's sexual orientation, though there are not yet any reports that a team has directly asked him the question. And they're not likely to ask him the question because we have laws in this country protecting homosexuals from employment discrimination, not to mention there would be all sorts of PR fallout for that team. Despite the people directly involved in the sport not being particularly progressive, the sport is still beholden to the mainstream political correctness machine. Just look at all that pink they have to wear for an entire month.

Te'o's situation presents an interesting legal conundrum though. While it's illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of his sexuality, would it be illegal to discriminate against someone for being the first openly gay man in the NFL? Probably. Almost certainly, yes.

Yet, if what the team is only concerned with is the media hype surrounding Te'o's sexuality and how that might disrupt the team, and that concern is not a pretext being used as a cover for actual homophobia, and if we put evidence issues aside, would it really be wrong for a team to say that didn't want to deal with that?

Someone more familiar with discrimination law could probably clear this up (and we know about 95% of you went to law school wanting to do this kind of thing, and only like 2 people in the world actually do it, so here's your chance). Is it legal to discriminate against someone not for their sexual orientation, but because of the way other people respond to their sexual orientation?

In other words, would it be legal for a team to fire Wilt Chamberlain because his media presence was a detriment to the team?


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