Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General for the state of New York, has pressed the National Football League to find out if draft picks were asked improper questions about their sex lives or sexual orientation during the recent NFL combine. YouWager news sources reported then that some players said they were being asked embarrassing questions of a very personal nature. Some former football executives said it came with the game.
As one former NFL executive said, “We feel we have a right to look under the hood.” Nick Kasa, a tight end for Colorado, told a YouWager source,”(Teams) ask you, like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?”’
The word around the combine was that teams were asking Manti Te’o if he was gay.
According to YouWager’s source, Schneiderman stated, in a letter to the NFL, also sent to major news media outlets, ”We ask that the league immediately issue a statement that any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation by league teams or players against potential recruits or players constitutes a violation of state, local and, in some cases, contractor law and will not be tolerated.”
Schneiderman requested that Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, call him immediately to set up a meeting. Greg Aiello, a spokesman for the NFL, said they are already moving forward on the issue. Aiello told YouWager’s source, in an earlier statement, ”Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws. It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process. In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation.”
Reinforcing the idea that the clubs are bound by the laws in the land, last month, DeMaurice Smith, the head of the NFLPA, told a YouWager source,”I know that the NFL agrees that these types of questions violate the law, our CBA and player rights.”
While the league’s statement says, ”Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline,” two players, Michigan’s Denard Robinson and Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell, have admitted that they were asked inappropriate questions.
According to YouWager’s source, in the conclusion of the press release, Attorney General Schneiderman reminded the NFL commissioner that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal in the state of New York, it’s also illegal in at least 23 other states, where the NFL’s 32 teams are located.