NY Attorney General To NFL: Stop Asking About Players’ Sexual Orientation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — New York’s attorney general wants answers from the NFL after a prospect was asked about his sexual orientation during last month’s Scouting Combine.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wrote a letter Monday to Robert Gulliver, the NFL’s chief human resources officer, saying he is “deeply troubled” over reports that Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple was asked by an Atlanta Falcons coach, “So do you like men?”

WEB EXTRA: Read Schneiderman’s Letter

The assistant, Marquand Manuel, issued a publicly apology to Apple, and Falcons coach Dan Quinn said all of his assistants met with a league-approved counselor after the incident.

But Schneiderman said he is alarmed that three years after initially contacting the NFL about three other similar alleged incidents, such questions are still being asked.

“I write today with serious concerns regarding the persistence of conduct at League-affiliated recruiting events that may violate New York State law concerning sexual orientation discrimination, and specifically regarding reports of an incident at this year’s Scouting Combine that appears nearly identical to the incident which triggered my office’s initial inquiry to the League (in 2013),” Schneiderman wrote.

The NFL conducted a review that found no “specific violations” in 2013, but it implemented steps aimed at eliminating sexual orientation discrimination, including a revised player code of conduct.

But Schneiderman said he later learned that in January 2014 a coach at the Senior Bowl asked the agent of Missouri linebacker Michael Sam if “had seen (him) around girls.” Sam announced a month later that he is gay.

The attorney general requested that Gulliver provide him with a detailed summary of steps the NFL has taken to prevent such discrimination.

Schneiderman’s office has the authority to investigate allegations of employment discrimination by companies that operate in the state. The NFL’s headquarters is located in Manhattan.

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