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Atlanta Falcons under fire for asking CB Eli Apple if he's gay

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 4, 2016 at 7:37 PM

The Atlanta Falcons acknowledged on Friday that a Falcons coach asked former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple whether he was gay during a meeting last week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

The NFL is also looking into the claim.

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Apple told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, "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."

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn later acknowledged the incident and issued a statement, which read: "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."

An NFL spokesman said the league would investigate the issue.

"This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement. "We will look into it."

Former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who became the first openly gay player to be selected in the NFL Draft in 2014, had a succinct response on his Twitter account: "Why?"

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