NEW YORK — The NFL says it found no “specific violations” in investigating whether team recruiters had questioned potential players about their sexual orientation during a February scouting combine.
Colorado tight end Nick Kasa and other players said they were asked about their sexual orientation, but did not identify by which teams or what questions they asked. The NFL said its investigation found no such improper questioning.
“Our review has not established any specific violations,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Thursday, “but we have made it clear to our clubs what is acceptable when interviewing potential players and other job candidates.”
The issue was discussed at last month’s owners meetings and Commissioner Roger Goodell said that if such questions were asked, “that’s unacceptable.”
“We will do things the right way,” Goodell said then. “We will give them that education and that training. I hope that that will solve the problem.”
In February, Kasa told ESPN Radio in Denver that during interviews with team officials at the combine in Indianapolis, he was asked questions such as: “Do you have a girlfriend?” “Are you married?” and “Do you like girls?”
Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson and Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell also said they were asked about their sexual orientation during an informal period at the combine when the players met with most of the 32 clubs.
Although no teams were found to have broken from league policies, the NFL said it would take action if it receives new information establishing a violation was committed.
The question of NFL players being openly gay became a hot topic before this year’s annual Super Bowl championship, when San Francisco 49ers player Chris Culliver made remarks about gays that were called offensive, for which he later apologized.
On Friday, Former Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo said up to four NFL players may soon come out as gay.
“We’re in talks with a handful of players who are considering it,” Ayanbadejo told the Baltimore Sun.
“There are up to four players being talked to right now and they’re trying to be organized so they can come out on the same day together. It would make a major splash and take the pressure off one guy. It would be a monumental day if a handful or a few guys come out,” he said.
To date, there has never been an openly gay player in any of North America’s major pro sports leagues, though a few athletes have come out after retirement.