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Esera Tuaolo: NFL coaches asking questions about sexual orientation are ‘Peeping Toms’

Tuaolo says the NFL has made solid advances, but they need to take consequential action here.

Taste Of The NFL Comes Home To Minnesota for The 27th Annual Party With A Purpose
Esera Tuaolo hosted an Inclusion Party, among other duties, when the Super Bowl was in Minneapolis earlier this year.
Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images for Taste Of The NFL

The NFL has done a lot lately to move in the right direction with respect to LGBT diversity.

It’s time now to show it understands the fundamental nature of LGBT discrimination and strictly apply its policies to end “Peeping Tom” activity among its ranks.

Up until 2003, the government, like a Peeping Tom, could look into your home, watch you have sex, and see if how you’re doing it is a turn on. If it’s “homosexual behavior,” something that the Peeping Tom wasn’t into, you’d actually be arrested and jailed. Only in 2003 — I repeat, 2003 — did the Supreme Court put an end to this by finding it Unconstitutional.

But the Peeping Tom wasn’t done. Up until 2015, the Peeping Tom checked what you were doing in your bedroom to figure out if it’ll provide not just marriage recognition, but all the benefits that it provides with marriage. Only in 2015 — I repeat, 2015 — did the Supreme Court put an end to this practice by finding it Unconstitutional.

Today, Peeping Toms are alive and well, as are their fetish for hetero sex. In so many states you could be fired for what you do in the privacy of your own home. Not only is there not much you could do about it legally in some places, but in some bizarre twist you’re actually the one who’s labeled as nasty, deviant, unnatural, dirty, devilish, and all these terms just because you’re not having sex the way the Peeping Tom wants to see it.

Peeping Tom isn’t just the government. It’s the lowlife who campaigns to pass laws limiting LGBT rights. It’s the nasty trash who fires you or doesn’t hire you because of your sexuality. It’s all the people out there who for the longest time tried, and still try, governing what consenting adults can do in the privacy of their home in any little direct or indirect, explicit or implicit way they can. To let people live in peace somehow scares their fragile being.

This Peeping Tom activity is present everywhere, including the NFL.

There have only been a handful of gay NFL players who came out, and almost all did so after they stopped playing. There has been no openly gay NFL player who actually played a regular-season game. It’s not rocket science to figure out why.

Derrius Guice is the latest player at the NFL Combine to be asked by a team if he’s gay. The team alleges they just wanted to see his reaction. Given the history of discrimination against LGBT people, you tell me: Even if he isn’t gay, how was he supposed to react to you looking through his bedroom window?

I applaud the NFL for taking some big steps in the right direction and for its commitment to keep moving forward. I think it’s time to take another step and show it understands why asking a player about his sexuality during what amounts to a job interview isn’t OK, even if it is just to see how the player reacts.

Esera Tuaolo played in the NFL for 10 seasons. He won an NFC Championship with the Atlanta Falcons in 1998. He came out publicly in 2002, shortly after retiring from the league.