(CBS) Apparently NFL teams aren't buying Manti Te'o's declaration that he's not gay.
After the fake girlfriend hoax exploded in January, Katie Couric asked Te'o if he was gay and the former Notre Dame linebacker nervously responded: "No, far from it, far from it."
But according to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, NFL teams are still wondering if Te'o is indeed gay and they want to know the answer.
"Here's the elephant in the room for the teams and it shouldn't matter but we have to step aside from the rest of reality and walk into the unique industry that is the NFL," Florio said on The Dan Patrick Show Monday. "Teams want to know whether Manti Te'o is gay. They just want to know. They want to know because in an NFL locker room, it's a different world. It shouldn't be that way."
Florio said he didn't think teams actually asked Te'o about his sexuality when they met with him over the weekend.
"It's been described to me as the proverbial elephant in the room and I don't think anyone knows how to solve this dilemma yet," he said. "It's just that they want to know what they're getting. They want to know what issues they may be dealing with down the road. We just assumed that at some point there would be an openly gay player in an NFL locker room and the team would have to work with the realities and make sure that everything's fine. Now you have a situation where you have a guy who was in a relationship with a fake girl who ended up being a real man, and the man has said to Dr. Phil that he was romantically in love with Manti Te'o, it just raises a lot of questions that the NFL at some point is going to have to deal with."
Obviously, if teams are wondering about his sexuality, it's an indication that it will affect Te'o draft stock. Homophobia has been, and continues to be, a big issue in the NFL.
"I'm not saying anyone would take Manti Te'o off the board if they suspected he's gay or know he's gay," Florio told Dan Patrick. "That's just the thing that's out there that they want to know the answer to."
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