Friday morning, former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple made an appearance on Philadelphia’s Breakfast on Broad on Comcast Sportsnet. It was supposed to be an innocuous interview which the Voorhees, New Jersey native would answer general questions regarding his participation in the 2016 NFL Combine. When the topic of weird questions came up, Apple said the following:
“I’ve been asked a lot of weird questions. I don’t know if I could say on TV. The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So do you like men?’ It was like the first thing he asked me. 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.”
Since the Mike Vick soap opera, the Atlanta Falcons have a fear of not drafting anyone that has the potential to make negative headlines in the blogs or press. That’s no secret. Atlanta is accepting of gays and that is no secret either. Add the two variables and you can easily see someone in the Falcons organization doesn’t want a repeat of the soap opera the Rams had when they drafted Michael Sam in 2014.
“I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches,” Atlanta Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn said. “I have spoken to the coach that interviewed Eli Apple and explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was. 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.”
Let’s take inventory. The Falcons do not want players that beat up women. Check. The Falcons do not want players that engage in illegal gambling activities. Check. The Falcons do not want players that abuse drugs or alcohol. Check. The Falcons want players that will embrace leadership roles in the community. Check. The Falcons do not want players that would consider spending a night out at Bulldogs or Swinging Richards. Well, we do have to think about that. Regardless as to how a gentleman spends his down time, his sexual orientation shouldn’t decide his merit on the football field. Too bad some coaches on the Falcons coaching staff are stuck in 1976. Of course, the league responded. “This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged. We will look into it.” said NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the following in an email to CSNPhilly, speaking on behalf of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Of course.