Dan Quinn Gives Apologetic Statement To Eli Apple For Insensitive Combine Question

    Dan Quinn released a statement regarding Eli Apple being asked if he "likes men" by Falcons assistant.

    March 4, 2016

    Dan Quinn statement on Eli Apple being asked if he “likes men” by Falcons assistant.

    It’s 2016, and yet progress is still the goal. It’s a matter of taking one step at a time toward equality for the LGBTQ community.

    As soon as some semblance of peace is found in the happiness of brave individuals who take on such a monumental wall of ignorance, someone opens his or her mouth, and we’re reminded of how long and daunting the road to equality actually is.

    While at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine last week, former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple sat down for his interview with some members from the Atlanta Falcons.

    He likely expected to be asked some off-the-wall questions, because that’s the stigma of the interview process at the combine. NFL executives, coaches and scouts want to see how certain players react to unique, awkward questions.

    Apple claims he was asked about his sexual preference, 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,” Apple said. “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.”

    The line of questioning, unfortunately, wasn’t unique, but it was no less awkward. More importantly, it was asinine, unprofessional, and simply pathetic.

    The combine is supposed to be a job interview for football players hoping to find a career in the NFL.

    If any other interviewer, in any other profession, asked a candidate that type of question, he or she would be fired on the spot.

    As he should, Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn released a statement on Friday apologizing for the actions of his staff.

    “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,” Quinn said. “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.”

    Even more revolting was the reaction of former Ohio State wide receiver Michael Thomas, who decided it would be funny to take a jab at his former teammate with a “joke.” As you can imagine, Thomas has since deleted the tweet.

    While the disgusting question presented to Apple doesn’t unravel the work that he’s put in to make the pros, it does obfuscate his combine results. The narrative surrounding Apple is no longer simply 40-yard dash times and broad jump numbers. Now it’s about Apple being the latest prospect peppered with an ignorant interview question from a dumb-headed individual.

    The question also acts as a reminder — a reminder how progress is relative. Such inquisitions are non-sequitur to on-field abilities, and completely unnecessary. When pertaining to race and sexuality, they come across as insensitive — regardless of whether the interviewer is joking.

    But forgetting old, ignorant views isn’t the point. The goal is to keep moving foward. That Falcons assistant’s question, and even Thomas’ tweet, were merely a brief detour on a long, tiring, neccessary trip.

    MORE: Ezekiel Elliott vs. Derrick Henry: NFL Draft Stock Comparison


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