Objectionable Combine Questions Lead the NFL and NY Attorney General to Team Up to Combat Sexual Orientation Based Harassment and Discrimination
On April 24, 2013, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced that the AG’s office would be working closely with the NFL to develop news policies to protect players from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation. Eventually, the effort will produce posters outlining the NFL’s anti-discrimination policies, which will be distributed and prominently placed in the locker rooms of all 32 teams across the league. The NFL also plans to implement new training procedures to educate players and individuals involved in recruiting on how to report complaints of discrimination and/or harassment as incidents arise.
Schneiderman wholeheartedly backed the effort, stating, “My office is committed to ensuring equal protection under the law for all employees and job applicants no matter where they work, and I applaud the NFL for working cooperatively with our office to address these issues . . . . Today, we are sending a powerfully message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form.” The NFL has agreed to report back to the AG’s office on a periodic basis to ensure that it was maintaining its commitment to a discrimination free work environment.
The announcement comes after reports surfaced earlier this year that recruiting personnel employed by the League were asking prospective players questions relating to their sexual orientation at the national scouting combine held in February. Recruiters allegedly inquired whether or not the prospects had girlfriends, were married, or otherwise liked girls.
Domonique Foxworth, President of the NFL Players Association also released a statement, noting, “The NFLPA appreciates the Attorney General Schneiderman’s leadership to ending discrimination and to hold the NFL owners accountable to the highest professional standards in our workplace.”