Imagine being asked a question about your sexual orientation in a job interview, even if it happens to violate every labor hiring law on the books. And you knew damn well the answer your prospective employer, one of just 32 companies in the world paying top dollar for your specific skills, wanted to hear.

If you didn’t — gulp — “like girls,” would you lie for the gig?

“You’d have to lie,” Dave Kopay said. “Otherwise, there is a good chance you’d never have an NFL career.”

Kopay is the first major-team-sport athlete to tell the world he is gay. He came out in 1975 after he played for Vince Lombardi with the Washington Redskins as well as for four other teams in nine NFL seasons. Thirty-eight years later, he sighs over the telephone from his home in Pasadena, Calif., “It’s sad we’re even here now talking about this, isn’t it?”