It’s none of your damn business if a star quarterback likes “the shotgun”
State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman put the NFL on notice Thursday: Worry about the scores on the field, not off the field.
In a letter to Commissioner Roger Goodell, Schneiderman seized on reports that teams asked potential draft choices prying questions to determine their sexual orientation during interviews at the NFL Scouting Combine, the annual showcase for prospects ahead of the NFL draft.
The attorney general warned Goodell that New York State discrimination laws make it illegal for an employer to base a hiring decision on sexual orientation. As a business based on New York, the NFL must comply with the law, he added.
NFL prospect Nick Kasa, a tight end, told ESPN Radio in Denver that teams asked a number of prying questions about his personal life during the combine.
Questions “like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ ‘Are you married?’ ‘Do you like girls?'” he said. “Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether.”
Guess “Don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t apply to the NFL.
“Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said at the time.
“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 his letter, Schneiderman noted that the NFL included language in its 2011 collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players Association that forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.
But the protections apparently do not extend to “prospective players during the recruitment process,” the attorney general said.
“I ask that the League clarify its position by issuing a public statement that any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation by League teams or their employees or agents against potential recruits or players constitutes a violation of state, local and, in some cases, contractual law, and will not be tolerated,” Schneiderman wrote in the letter.
Fear of a gay baller? You would think a multi-billion dollar company like the NFL would realize the legal ramifications of asking such questions, especially since they are deathly afraid of the multiple lawsuits they are already facing for player safety.
Image via AP