Homophobia in the NFL

Although the NFL has told teams not to discuss a player’s sexuality, the Atlanta Falcons asked Ohio State CB Eli Apple if he liked men. Other players have said teams have also questioned their sexual preferences. Like other professional sports teams, the NFL is known for their homophobic views. Player Michael Sam proved this last year.

He was the first drafted player to admit he was gay.

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Professional sports have always had gay players, but, they never reveal it. In professional sports, homosexuality is better left unsaid. Sam has received opportunities with the Rams and Cowboys, but never secured a position. He went to the Canadian Football League (CFL) to hone his skills for the NFL.

Sam left the CFL because he felt the experience didn’t improve his skills. He says he can still make an NFL roster next season.

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He has much to prove if he does earn a spot. As a safety, he is undersized in a league that values height for the position. This makes sense because NFL receivers and tight ends are built like Dez Bryant (6’ 2”) and Rob Gronkowski (6’ 4”).  

NFL pundits believe Sam would still be in the NFL had he kept his sexuality a secret. But no one knows for sure. The NFL Combine is held every year in Indianapolis.

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Teams use the event to analyze potential players and to ask them questions. Teams are known to ask the most outlandish questions during the compound. Generally, when people ask questions, there is a reason for it. It doesn't make sense to ask a question for no reason. 

Certain questions make sense, but asking about a player’s sexuality doesn’t transfer into performance on the field. Bryant was asked if his mother was a prostitute.

I don’t know who decides on the questions, but they shouldn’t be asked unless they hold some significance. One idea is for teams to list the questions and send them to the NFL office in New York for approval. Questions should be limited to a specific scope. Still, unless the league punishes violators, teams will continue asking controversial questions.    

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