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Monica Lindstrom

Updated May 15, 2014 - 12:40 pm

Legally Speaking: Can you be fired for being gay?

This week on Legally Speaking I address the question “can you be fired for being gay?”

Over the weekend the sports world was paying close attention, at least initially, to the NFL draft. Yes, Johnny Football was the center of attention in the first round but the attention in the last round went to not Mr. Irrelevant but to Michael Sam.

You see, Sam was the first openly gay football player in the draft. The St. Louis Rams picked him with the 249th pick. We know not all drafted players make the team, that some never sign a contract and some get fired.

This begs the question, could the Rams, or even the Cardinals, fire a player for being gay? Can a private employer fire someone for being gay?

The answer today will likely be different five years from now with the ways things are changing in our country and with our laws. With that being said, the Rams, and any other team that drafts an openly gay player should be very careful about how they handle any termination.

After all, no team wants a Donald Sterling/NBA situation on their hands.

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