Hold NFL Responsible for Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Target: Robert Goodell, National Football League Chairman

Goal: Ask the NFL to reinforce their strict policies of anti-discrimination, particularly regarding sexual orientation

Recent allegations assert that, during a week-long scouting showcase, the NFL broke employment laws by asking league hopefuls about their sexual orientation. The accusation comes after the NFL recently indoctrinated an anti-discrimination bill under which sexuality falls. Do not let scouts get away with this extremely discriminatory practice – demand that the NFL uphold its anti-homophobia stance.

The annual NFL scouting combine is essentially the combination of a tryout and a job interview. Throughout the course of one week, players are asked to perform various physical and mental tests for coaches, scouts, and general managers. Though recruiters are allowed to ask prospective players many questions, employment law prohibits them from asking players about their sexual orientation. Currently, at least 20 of the league’s 32 teams are located in states that, according to USA Today, “prohibit discrimination in hiring and employment based on sexual orientation.”

Despite this clear policy, Colorado tight end Nick Kasa told the Associated Press that he was asked questions such as “Do you like girls?” and “Do you have a girlfriend?” Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell said they were also asked questions that pertained to their sexual orientation. This practice, commonly called ‘gay-checking’ is both illegal and homophobic, and there is no room for it in any workplace.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has sent a letter to the NFL chairman demanding that the league’s policy be more fully articulated, asking 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.” Demand that the NFL adhere to the policies it has set forth – ask Chairman Robert Goodell to issue a statement as soon as possible.


Dear Chairman Goodell,

The NFL is no place for homophobia. Recently, prospective players assert that scouts questioned them about their sexual orientation during the annual combine. Not only is this against the NFL’s most recent anti-discrimination clause, in many cases it is illegal.

We are counting on you to protect players’ and prospective players’ rights. Please issue a statement that reaffirms the NFL’s no-tolerance policy regarding homophobic attitudes and actions.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: NontriviaMatt via Flickr

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