NFL to check into players' claims

Updated: March 1, 2013, 11:04 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The NFL on Wednesday said it would investigate a report that at least one team at the scouting combine asked a draft prospect about his sexual orientation.

Three draft prospects have said they were asked a series of questions that touched on sexual orientation at the just-completed combine in Indianapolis.

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa was the first to make the claim, revealing the line of questioning in an interview with ESPN Radio Denver on Tuesday.

Michigan quarterback/receiver Denard Robinson, in an interview with the "The Dan Patrick Show" on Wednesday, and Michigan State running back Le'veon Bell, speaking with WDFN-Radio in Detroit on Thursday, also made similar claims.

"[Teams] ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend?' 'Are you married?' 'Do you like girls?' " Kasa said in his radio interview Tuesday. "Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it's a pretty weird experience altogether."

In the statement announcing it would check into Kasa's claim, the NFL said "teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws."

"It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process. In addition, there are specific protections in our collective bargaining agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation," the league said. "We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the scouting combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline."

NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith addressed the league's promised investigation in a statement Wednesday to USA Today Sports.

"I know that the NFL agrees that these types of questions violate the law, our CBA and player rights," Smith said. "I hope that they will seek out information as to what teams have engaged in this type of discrimination and we should then discuss appropriate discipline."

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