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New York Attorney General Sends Letter to NFL after "Do You Like Men?" Combine Question

Eric Schneiderman is checking up on the NFL's sexual orientation discrimination policy.

Earlier in the month, Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple revealed that an Atlanta Falcons coach asked him if he liked men during his combine interview. Apple was rightly bemused by the question but gave the coach, later identified as defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel, the benefit of the doubt, guessing that he was trying to catch the player off guard to see how he reacted. You've got to see how these kids handle those tough pressure situations in the NFL, after all. Today, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sent a letter to the NFL expressing his concern over the incident and requested proof that the NFL was doing its part rid the league of sexual orientation discrimination.


Schneiderman's office has authority to monitor the hiring practices of companies doing business in New York, and since the NFL is headquartered in Manhattan, this falls squarely within his jurisdiction. Schneiderman's office previously worked with the league on this issue, at events like the Combine and Senior Bowl, and required the NFL to take steps including the placement of an anti-discrimination policy in locker roomsl and requiring league-wide training in that policy.

Schneiderman, in a letter to the NFL's HR head Robert Gulliver, voiced his concerns about the recurrence, seemingly every year, of these types of incidents, and requested that the NFL "provide a detailed summary of the steps it has taken to eliminate sexual orientation discrimination and to prevent such incidents as these from occurring since our first engagement."

"In a statement following the press report, Falcons coach Dan Quinn stated that the team's entire coaching staff met with a 'League-approved counselor' in the aftermath of the incidentWhile such a step is obviously necessary, and I appreciate the League's use of its resources to address the incident, what troubles me is the persistence of such incidents at League-sponsored events despite the League's past efforts on this score. This incident highlights the need for the League to, at minimum, require head and assistant coaches, as well as franchise scouts, to complete an enhanced training on the League's non-discrimination policy, including sexual orientation non-discrimination, and their responsibilities to abide by and enforce the policy."

You can read the entire letter below:

2016-03-14 Oag Ltr to Nfl by Matthew Hamilton

[Times Union]