Homophobia rears it’s ugly head again as the NFL draft approaches.
According to former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, an Atlanta Falcons coach asked if the player was gay during last week’s NFL combine.
From ABC News:
An Atlanta Falcons coach asked former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple whether he is gay during a meeting last week at the NFL combine. Apple described the meeting Friday during an interview with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, although he did not identify the coach.
“The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So do you like men?’” Apple told Comcast SportsNet. “It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘If you’re going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that’s how it is around here. You’re going to have to get used to it.’
“I guess he was joking, but they just ask most of these questions to see how you’re going to react.” Falcons coach Dan Quinn released a statement Friday, acknowledging the incident.
“I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches,” Quinn said. “I have spoken to the coach that interviewed Eli Apple and explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was. I have reiterated this to the entire coaching staff and I want to apologize to Eli for this even coming up. This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves.”
The NFL has previously stated that asking about sexual orientation in the hiring process is against league policy.
The NFL’s collective bargaining agreement includes protections that prohibit discrimination against any player based on sexual orientation. Violation of those protections is subject to league discipline.