NY Attorney General Calls on NFL to Investigate Whether Draft Picks Were Asked, Illegally, About Sexual Orientation
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is calling on the NFL to investigate whether potential recruits at the recent NFL Combine were asked, illegally, about their sexual orientation, the AP reports.
"We ask that the league immediately issue a statement that any form of discrimination or harassment on the basis of sexual orientation by league teams or players against potential recruits or players constitutes a violation of state, local and, in some cases, contractor law and will not be tolerated," Schneiderman said in a letter dated Thursday and released to news organizations.
Schneiderman asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to call him by next Wednesday to schedule a meeting on the matter.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league was already looking into the issue and would discuss it at its meeting next week in Phoenix.
The request comes following remarks in late February by prospect Nick Kasa, a senior at the University of Colorado, to ESPN radio. Kasa said that recruiters at the NFL Scouting Combine asked him questions like, ‘Do you have a girlfriend?’ Are you married?’ Do you like girls?’.
The NFL released a statement 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 addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline.”
Said Hudson Taylor, Executive Director Athlete Ally, in a response to Schneiderman's letter:
“We have seen how important leadership from the Commissioner's Office is when it comes to gay inclusion in sports. It was former commissioner Paul Tagliabue who worked diligently behind the scenes to include an anti-discrimination clause based on sexual in the collective bargaining agreement. Now, with the call for the league's policy to be more fully articulated, we are confident Roger Goodell, who maintains a public track record supporting gay rights issues like anti-bullying, will make this part of his legacy as commissioner.”