Was Manti Te’o pretending to be straight so he’d get to play in the NFL?

Why would a star college football player make up a story about a relationship with an out-of-town girlfriend?

If you have a girlfriend, no one is trying to set you up. You don’t have to go on embarrassing dates and pretend to be straight. You don’t have to deal with the woman falling in love with you and end up hurting her.

Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o came in second in Heisman Trophy voting this year and is expected to be a first-round NFL draft pick. That is, unless he has to have real girlfriends to play football.

Te’o “met” Lennay Kukua in 2011. Last fall, she had a terrible car accident and then was diagnosed with leukemia. She was a student at Stanford.

Apparently, Te’o’s relationship with her was entirely on Twitter. He made up the stories about actually meeting her. The Twitter account is gone, but Te’o claims he knew nothing about the hoax.

But stories of the relationship and how he went on to play to make her proud after she “died” were part of most Notre Dame games last fall.

And now, OutSports is asking the question: Is Manti Te’o gay?

—  David Taffet

Mark Cuban wonders if he’s a homophobe

Cuban emphatically states his case.

Dan Devine over at the Ball Don’t Lie sports blog reported earlier today on Mark Cuban’s comment yesterday to “The Sports Guy” Bill Simmons for a recording of the podcast The B.S. Report. Winding down the weekend’s MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Simmons and Cuban engaged in conversation of The KissCam which apparently took an awkward turn. From Ball Don’t Lie:

And then, as Carly Carioli of the Boston Phoenix wrote in a blog post accompanying an excellent feature story on the conference, “the atmosphere turned even weirder.”

… Cuban began telling the story of how he’d almost fired a Mavs employee for encouraging Dallas fans to do the wave. Cuban hates the wave. “I’d rather have 60 minutes of Kiss Cam,” he said, to laughs. Simmons has long been on record as being a fan of the Kiss Cam [...] and piped up in favor of it. “I like the Kiss Cam,” Simmons said.

“That’s because you and your boyfriend are always on it,” Cuban spat.

Chances are, if you’ve read or listened to content created by Bill Simmons over the past seven years, you’ve caught wind of the fact that he’s married to a woman, and that the two of them have children. Not that those things would, or do, preclude a man from also liking men and/or having boyfriends, but, y’know, for the record, there’s been no public indication that Bill Simmons is gay.

Devine later goes on to criticize Cuban’s remark as adolescent. By all accounts, it appears The Boston Phoenix’s Carly Carioli was first on the scene with this post, labeling the remark homophobic. Gay sports site OutSports labeled it distasteful.

Cuban posted this today in Blog Maverick explaining his side. From Cuban:

I made a mistake in making the comment. I wasn’t trying to be hurtful. It wasn’t a comment on anyone’s sexuality. It was just me trying to be funny. It wasn’t. I quickly realized it and tried to fix it. I hoped at the time I didn’t offend anyone.

This blog post is not about trying to defend what I said. I’m not trying to defend my sense of humor. I’m not trying to convince you I’m not a homophobe. I’m not trying to justify anything at all.

I guess what I am doing is admitting that at some level I am prejudiced and that I recognize that I am.  There are a lot of things in my life that I need to improve at. This is one of them. Sometimes I make stupid throw away comments that I quickly realize are wrong. It doesn’t happen often, but it happens. It was a mistake and I realized it. I learned from it.

I appreciate the straighties rushing to the side of the LGBT community when the homophobia bell alarms. That’s a nice feeling. We appreciate it. Really. But is this particular instance, that big of a deal? I mean, we do have a sense of humor.

—  Rich Lopez

Coming out as a gay hockey fan

Via OutSports and the brilliantly named gay hockey blog Puck Buddies comes this charming account of a gay Dallas Stars fan’s recent trip to a game at the American Airlines Center with his boyfriend. An excerpt:

After our hockey game (he bought the tickets as a surprise), it got me thinking – will there ever be a time when I can go to a Stars game and not be afraid to kiss my boyfriend in between plays or periods? I think this is something every gay hockey fan has thought about at one point or another, and I’m curious to hear from other guys around here if they’ve been in the same position. 

I had an amazing time watching hockey with Jon and I can’t wait to go back and do it again and again and again, but wonder if I’ll feel more comfortable and a little less self-conscious the next time. The concern is Jon is my first REAL boyfriend, we live in Dallas, TX, and the typical hockey crowd mayyyyyy not be the most tolerant towards fans like us. I really do hope that one day we’ll be able to take in a game and not feel odd, judged or so rare. There’s no way we’re the only gay guys who go ape for the Stars. No way.

Saturday night was great. These past two months have been great, and Jon is great because he’s not only willing to put up with my hockey obsession but he encourages it as well. Oh yeah, the Stars beat the visiting Blue Jackets 4-2, and the night only got better after the final horn.

—  John Wright

Ex-TCU linebacker Vincent Pryor came out as gay to teammates before setting sack record in 1994

Seventeen years after setting a school sack record during a landmark victory over Texas Tech, ex-TCU linebacker Vincent Pryor has revealed that he came out as gay to his teammates before the game:

“I knew that at the end of this game I was going to be free. I can be who I am. I am a gay athlete who just so happens to play football. I had no regrets. Everyone knows I’m gay. … I was just at peace with myself.”

“He was a beast” on the field, said Marcus Allen, Pryor’s teammate and the team’s middle linebacker. “I do believe that once he came out of the closet, he did feel relieved. You did notice something different about him. He was always happy, he felt good about himself, he felt like didn’t have anything to hide.”

Pryor’s 4 ½ sacks still stand in the TCU record book (he shares it with David Spradlin from 1987) as do his 34 sack yards. But that’s not why Pryor’s story is worth telling. Rather, it’s his journey of acceptance as an openly gay man and athlete in our most macho sport.

Pryor now lives in Chicago with his partner, whom he met at TCU but didn’t start dating until four years after they graduated. Read the full story from Jim Buzinski at OutSports here. And watch Pryor’s video for the “It Gets Better” project below.

—  Rich Lopez

UTEP basketball player from Lancaster sorry for tweeting, ‘It is NOT cool to be gay!’

John Bohannon

The El Paso Times reports that basketball player John Bohannon, a Lancaster native who just completed his freshman season at UTEP, has apologized for tweeting, “It is NOT cool to be gay!” Ironically, Bohannon’s homophobic tweet reportedly was in response to the “Think Before You Speak” PSA that aired during the NBA playoffs, which featured two players speaking out against anti-gay language. From the EPT last Friday:

Thursday afternoon, Bohannon followed with “to those who were offended by my tweet a few days ago. Didn’t mean any disrespect by it as I do not judge anybody by their sexual preference.”

And he added, “And would hope you would not judge me by one tweet. Thank you.”

According to Bohannon’s Twitter feed, he later suggested that his original comment was “taken out of context.” And Jim Buzinski at OutSports isn’t satisfied with Bohannon’s apology:

I will judge him by that one tweet and his lame non-apology: John Bohannon is a moron and has obvious issues with gay people. And being gay is not a “preference,” it’s an orientation. Perhaps he’s simply not too bright: He was suspended one game this season, his first, for what his coach said was a  “lack of academic performance.”

—  John Wright

Dallas Mavericks' Drew Gooden may or may not have used the 'F' word

ESPN.com.
ESPN.com.

According to actor Chris Wylde, Drew Gooden, 90, from the Mavericks called him and his friend “faggots” Saturday night at their game in L.A. against the Clippers. Wylde and friend admitted to innocent heckling but did not expect this sort of retaliation. Outsports covered the story here. According to the article, Mavs owner Mark Cuban has taken the position of  dealing with it internally.

Wylde, who is not gay, e-mailed Cuban to complain. In it, he said “It’s not bad enough we (L.A. Clippers) have the worst record in the league, but to literally be hate crimed by a millionaire is repulsive.” Cuban later  told OutSports, “For the record, I heard their heckling during the game, some was funny, some not as innocent as they want to make it sound. That doesn’t excuse any homophobic commentary from anyone, but it does make me want to get confirmation.”

Wylde’s friend did not want to go on record about the incident. The Dallas Morning News reported that the NBA has not looked into the allegations. According to IMDB, Wylde is listed as a cast member in the CBS Web show, Heckle U. The plot summary on IMDB describes the show as “the story of a slacker Chance and his best friend Darrell who have the ability to change the course of a basketball game by heckling the opposing teams into submission. Chance is pushed to excel as a heckler and take their theatrics to the next level by his Uncle Lou.”

Hmmm. Maybe Wylde was just doing research.The Mavs play the Utah Jazz tonight at the AAC.

—  Rich Lopez