An American football (NFL) team is in hot water after a recruit was asked if he likes men during his interview.
Eli Apple, from Ohio State University, was being interviewed for a place with the Atlanta Falcons when he was faced with the question from an unnamed coach.
“The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So do you like men?'” the 20-year-old Apple told Comcast SportsNet.
“It was like the first thing he asked me. It was weird. I was just like, ‘No.'”
The Falcons have since apologised to Apple for the “inappropriate and unprofessional” line of questioning, stating that, “This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves.”
According to the NFL, teams are not allowed to ask potential players these kinds of personal questions. In a statement, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said: “This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged. We will look into it.”
The NFL condemned asking recruits about their sexuality in 2013 when similar incidents took place but failed to take any action at the time.
The sexuality of football players remains a controversial issue in the US. In February 2014, promising college player Michael Sam made history by announcing that he was gay just before facing the NFL team selection process.
While his bravery was hailed, Sam has still not been able to turn his talents into a professional NFL career, something that’s been blamed on homophobia in the sport as well as the pressures of being in the constant glare of the media.
“The fact that these questions are still being asked even after Michael Sam declared his sexuality before the 2014 draft suggests that the league may indeed not be ready for an openly gay player — and it helps explain why any and all gay players in the NFL choose to remain discreet about their orientation,” wrote Mike Florio for NBC Sports.