Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple recently traveled to Indianapolis to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine, and he revealed Friday during an interview on Comcast SportsNet's Breakfast on Broad that he was asked a rather inappropriate question by a member of the Atlanta Falcons coaching staff.
When discussing strange questions lobbed his way during the interview portion of the combine, Apple said he was asked if he liked men, according to CSNPhilly.com's Enrico Campitelli:
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.
Complete video of Apple's remarks can be viewed below:
Following Apple's appearance, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn released a statement condemning the line of questioning raised by one of his coaches, per Campitelli:
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.
On Monday, the Falcons released follow-up statements from Quinn and secondary coach/senior defensive assistant Marquand Manuel:
Dan Quinn and Marquand Manuel have issued statements regarding incident at Combine. pic.twitter.com/ThNYqkTg1h— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 7, 2016
"This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said, per Nate Davis of USA Today. "We will look into it."
Executive Director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith also commented, saying "another dehumanizing moment in NFL Combine history."
Michael Sam, a former NFL defensive end and the first openly gay player in the league, questioned the purpose of the inquiry:
During his time on the field at the combine, Apple acquitted himself nicely. The former Buckeye ran a 4.40-second 40-yard dash, per NFL.com, which was good for the sixth-best mark among all cornerbacks who participated.
In his latest mock draft, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller has Apple slotted in at No. 25 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers.