After openly gay athlete Michael Sam used the NFL as his coming out party, it makes sense that NFL teams want to tackle similar stunts to avoid surprises.
That's probably what the Atlanta Falcons were thinking when they asked Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple if he was gay.
Apple appeared on Comcast's SportsNet in Philadelphia, where he revealed one of the questions he was asked by a Falcons coach at the NFL Scouting Combine.
“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 Falcons head coach Dan Quinn expressed disappointment
that his coach got caught:
“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.”
That doesn't mean the Falcons coaches won't couch that question differently at next year's NFL Scouting Combine.