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Thursday, April 25, 2013
NFL to reinforce policy

ESPN.com news services

The NFL said Wednesday it would reinforce its policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation after discussions with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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. Together, we are sending a powerful message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form.

-- Eric Schneiderman, New York Attorney General

The league will circulate its policy to all 32 teams and hang posters in locker rooms explaining the anti-discrimination rules. In addition, the NFL will hold training sessions for league personnel, including rookies and those responsible for hiring and recruiting new players.

The NFL also said it would strengthen its protocols for reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment.

"The NFL has a long history of valuing diversity and inclusion," commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is not consistent with our values and is unacceptable in the National Football League."

Schneiderman contacted the NFL in March after some draft prospects said they were improperly asked about their sexual orientation during the league's combine, which he said would be illegal in New York.

The NFL said earlier this month that it found no specific violations in its investigation of the allegations.

"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," Schneiderman said in the statement. "Together, we are sending a powerful message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form."

The NFL also agreed to periodically report its progress in maintaining its anti-discrimination policy to the New York Attorney General's office.

"The NFLPA appreciates Attorney General Schneiderman's leadership to ending discrimination and to hold the NFL owners accountable to the highest professional standards in our workplace," Domonique Foxworth, president of the NFL Players Association, said in the statement.