Atlanta Falcons Want to Know if Eli Apple is Gay
Is Ohio State’s Eli Apple gay? I don’t know but I do know that the Atlanta Falcons wanted to find out.
According to Eli himself, he was asked some “weird” questions during the draft combine process. One of those questions came from Falcons who specifically wanted to know if he found another man attractive. In that way.
Not all of the questions being asked at the NFL Scouting Combine relate directly to football. But one question that Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple was asked just might have crossed a line.
On Friday, in an interview with Comcast SportsNet’s Breakfast On Broad, Apple, one of the top corners in the draft class, indicated that he was asked about his sexual orientation during an interview with the Atlanta Falcons.
“The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So do you like men?'” Apple said. “It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was 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.'”
This isn’t the first time a Combine participant has outed the NFL for asking inappropriate questions during the pre-draft process. In 2013, University of Colorado tight end Nick Kasa told ESPN Radio that he was asked if he liked girls, prompting a quick response from the league spokesman Greg Aiello, who said it was league policy to neither “consider nor inquire about sexual orientation during the hiring process.”
Apple, a projected late-first/second round pick, indicated that it may not have been a direct question about his sexual orientation, and the question may have been asked in an attempt to force him to think on his feet. He added that he had been asked “a lot of weird questions. I don’t know if I could say on TV.”
“I guess he was joking,” Apple said, “but they just ask most of these questions to see how you’re going to react.”
Apple’s televised announcement of the Falcons’ Combine questioning habits led the team to react quickly. Shortly after the interview on Friday, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn apologized to Apple and added that he’d spoken to the coach about a question he called “inappropriate and unprofessional.”
“I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches,” Quinn said in a statement. “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.”
The NFL shares Quinn’s view on the situation.
“This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged,” a league spokesman added. “We will look into it.”
Of course the Falcons can claim that they had the right to ask the question due to the city’s high population of gay men, but again it is none of their business if Eli or any other player is interested in that. These guy’s jobs is to play football not look for a date.
The Falcons can definitely expect some kind of discipline from the league for this. I don’t understand why teams are still teetering this line after Michael Sam. It’s just too much trouble to ask. Just do your research on the kids Instagram (because everyone snitches on themselves online) and keep it moving.