NFLPA's Smith: Teams asking inappropriate questions of players should be banned from scouting combine

Former Louisiana State running back Derrius Guice told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday night that while he was at the scouting combine last week, teams asked him if he likes men or if his mom “sells herself.”

Guice indicated that he expected such stupid questions, telling the interviewers, “Man, it was pretty crazy, bro. Some people really try to get in your head, man, and really just test your reaction and see what your reaction is going to be.”

The questions are highly inappropriate at best, and teams have been warned in the past about asking them.

NFL Players’ Association head DeMaurice Smith wants to take things one step further.

DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Thursday teams asking inappropriate questions of players should be banned from the NFL scouting combine. (AP)
DeMaurice Smith, executive director of the NFL Players Association, said Thursday teams asking inappropriate questions of players should be banned from the NFL scouting combine. (AP)

“Find out what team did it and ban them from the Combine,” Smith said on “PFT Live” Thursday morning. “The question is inappropriate. Questions along these lines are always inappropriate.”

Smith added that he’s “never been a fan of the combine,” because of how teams treat incoming players, but there’s not much he can do to force change because prospects aren’t yet NFL players and therefore don’t have the union’s protection.

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We suspect the NFL will issue nothing more than a useless warning, if it even investigates Guice’s claims, but it’s beyond time for the league and teams to grow up.

The lingering – and apparently still perpetuated, among some organizations – notion that being gay makes a player lesser or will somehow affect a team is ridiculous and the reason why some men, like former New England Patriots and Kansas City Chiefs offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan thought for years that it was a better idea to kill himself than say out loud that he’s gay.

This is what you want, NFL? In this day and age players who are gay – and they do exist – should feel confident that they would be accepted for who they are. Teams harbor players who are arrested for DUI and beating women, which, if you’re unsure, are actual illegal acts, but still want to foster the stigma of homosexuality? It’s sad and shameful.

Years ago, it was believed that mixing white and black players would be a detriment, and guess what – teams adjusted. It’s past time for the NFL to move into the 21st century on this issue as well.

And what of this question that keeps popping up, even if it’s a thinly-veiled attempt to get a rise out of a player, that his mother prostitutes herself? It’s interesting that teams expect players to have the right character makeup when it’s clear that some of the men asking these questions lack it themselves.

There was a fair amount of disbelief when that was asked of Dez Bryant in 2010 – and teams are still asking it?

Grow up, NFL.

 

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