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NFL to probe scouts' asking if player gay

Feb. 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The NFL Players Association said it asked the league to investigate whether scouts at the recent scouting combine asked players about their sexual orientation.

In requesting the investigation the players union said asking such questions violates the law and player rights, USA Today reported Wednesday.

"I know that the NFL agrees that these types of questions violate the law, our CBA [collective bargaining agreement] and player rights," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement. "I hope that they will seek out information as to what teams have engaged in this type of discrimination and we should then discuss appropriate discipline."

The NFL expects its teams to follow applicable laws and its policy is to "neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process," league spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today Sports in an email. "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 [Colorado University tight end and NFL prospect] Nick Kasa at the scouting combine," Aiello said. "Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline."

USA Today said ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio has said a potential player's sexual orientation may have become of interest to team scouts from the situation involving Notre Dame player Manti Te'o, who said he was the victim of an online girlfriend hoax. When asked on a nationally televised interview whether he was gay, Te'o said no.

"They ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?'" Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver. "Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it's a pretty weird experience altogether."

Jeff Foster, president of national football scouting who runs the combine, said no team, player or agent told him of an inappropriate question being asked during interview sessions, USA Today said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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