(Bleacher Report) NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Friday that the league will investigate an Atlanta Falcons assistant coach after he asked draft prospect Eli Apple if he “liked men” at the NFL Scouting Combine last week.
Nate Davis of USA Today passed along comments from McCarthy after Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said in a statement he was “really disappointed” in the coach who asked the question.
“This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged,” McCarthy said. “We will look into it.”
The situation came to light during Apple’s interview with Comcast SportsNet on Friday. He was asked about some of the different questions that were posed during combine interviews and provided the Falcons’ inquiry as an example:
The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, “So do you like men?” 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.
The CSN Philly report also included the full statement from Quinn about the incident:
I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches. 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.
Mark Maske of the Washington Post reported in February 2014 that teams had reminded front offices through a pre-combine memo that they weren’t allowed to discriminate against players for any reason, including sexual orientation.
The unnamed Falcons assistant could be subject to possible league punishment, since that line of questioning is not allowed, according to the USA Today report.