Here at The Stain, we try to take a different look at sports, and avoid the typical stories unless we have a different take on things. This is the reason we haven’t really written much about Manti T’eo, but then I watched his interview with Katy Couric, I was shocked by one particular question and answer, which I thought would be a big topic, but I really only found three sources raising fuss about it, and I had to look for two of them. Dan Patrick, Michael David of Pro Football Talk, and Out Sports were the few that were offended by the response of T’eo when Couric asked if he was gay.
He was drilled the entire interview being told he was the most naive person in the world, and he was an out and out liar, and just sat there, took it, and wasn’t phased by it. But then, when asked if he is gay, he chuckles, and emphatically said, “far from it, faaaar from it”. So it is ok to be naive and lie to the world, but god forbid a person be gay. This is the exact mindset that prevents so many, athlete or not, from coming out and being open with their preferences.
Who knows when we will see an athlete of in the four major sports come out while playing, but responses like T’eo’s push that timetable back. I have heard people offer up the exuse of his religious beliefs being a reason for him to react that way. I could almost buy that, if he wasn’t a Mormon attending a Catholic school, which in itself shows at least some form of an open mind.
To me, the worst thing to come out of the whole T’eo story is his reaction to that single question. The media needs to react more harshly to comments like this, or tweets like the ones from Tank Carder, and bring more attention to athletes like David Testo, Anton Hysen, and Gareth Thomas, three people 99% of sports fans have never heard of, but are openly gay athletes at playing in the top levels of their professions.