The NFL is supposed to prevent its franchises from asking draft prospects questions related to their sexual orientation, but they have apparently failed – again.
Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, LSU running back Derrius Guice said one team representative at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last week asked whether he was homosexual. Such a question is prohibited under the league’s Excellence in Workplace Conduct policy and potentially illegal under state law.
Controversy about this line of questioning began in earnest at the 2013 Combine after both running back Le’Veon Bell and tight end Nick Kasa revealed they were asked if they “like girls” during one of their 15-minute interview sessions.
Subsequent warnings of league discipline from NFL headquarters to clubs about doing this went ignored in 2016 by Falcons assistant coach Marquand Manuel, who asked then-Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple if he liked girls. The Falcons organization quickly apologized with head coach Dan Quinn saying his coaching staff went through a training seminar “with a league-approved counselor regarding social responsibility.”
These questions regarding sexual orientation are not new. The Dolphins apologized in 2010 after wide receiver Dez Bryant was asked by a team official if his mother was a prostitute.
The typical Combine interview features general get-to-know you questions and football-related inquiries such as analyzing video of college performances or drawing plays on a board. Players with off-field issues in their background face a tougher line of questioning as teams try to complete their pre-draft profiles.
Guice, who is considered a likely first- or second-round pick, turned pro early after posting his second consecutive season of 1,200-plus rushing yards and double-digit touchdowns. Guice is also considered one of the most inspirational players in the 2018 draft class. He was raised in a single-parent household in an impoverished part of Baton Rouge following the murder of his father when Guice was 7 years old.
It will be interesting to see how the league reacts in trying to find the interviewer and whether a harsh enough punishment is given to truly keep another player from having to endure the same experience as Guice.