Another fun rookie interview question: sexual orientation

The NFL is a business that plays by different rules.

SI’s Ross Tucker has an excellent piece on the issue Wednesday, giving some anecdotes of acceptable practices in the league that wouldn’t be cool anywhere else.

The Dez Bryant interview question saga has highlighted the oddities of the pre-draft process, but this is a topic we touched on at least three times in the months leading up the draft.

And since this is a relatively slow Wednesday, we thought we’d pass along another surprising pre-draft question.

“The only unusual question I got was if I was straight or gay,” said
new Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins.  “And that was about

Then Atkins thought of some more wacky ones.

“‘McDonald’s or Burger King?’  I think ‘pillow or blanket?’
was another one,” Atkins said.  “Those were the strange, unusual ones I
got.  I was like, ‘What does that have to do with football?’  I think they
were kind of trying to loosen me up a little bit.”

Pillow or blanket?  I’ve clearly been sleeping wrong all these years.

57 responses to “Another fun rookie interview question: sexual orientation

  1. They clearly didn’t ever ask Jeff Garcia this question.
    Seriously. Geno Atkins is making news? Sexual orientation earns the top spot on PFT?
    slow day, indeed…

  2. All this sympathy for Bryant. He was the most popular kid in the neighbourhood growing up.
    Most Moms gave you milk and cookies when you visited. At Dez house you got coke and a really good hummer.

  3. Does the pillow(biter) question maybe fit in with the gay or straight? Maybe the team was trying to see if the prospect would reach over the table and strangle the interviewer for even asking.

  4. lol@
    “Pillow or blanket? I’ve clearly been sleeping wrong all these years.”

  5. Can you (or maybe Florio, since he’s a lawyer) explain how this doesn’t violate non-discrimination laws?

  6. Umm……I think we’re all ignoring the most important question here.
    How do you kill the smoke monster?

  7. Geno Atkins showed up at training camp to find only a pillow on his bunk and no blanket.

  8. unnamed NFL executive: ‘Are you Gay or Straight?’
    Tim Tebow: ‘Uhhhh……..S-S-Straight?’

  9. why must i choose between i pillow or blanket..This is AMERICA god dammit
    rock paper scissor for the blanket
    chooo looose da blanket
    rock paper scissor for the pillow
    choooo looose da pilla

  10. Maybe the Steelers should have asked Rapistberger a few questions before deciding to draft him and embarassing the organization.
    Heres a few they should have asked…..
    In a dirty bar bathroom or romantic hideaway?
    Consensual or by force?
    When SHE SAYS NO! Does that mean “Its ok”?

  11. I don’t see how that’s right. We talk about these situations being a job interview and it’s illegal to ask those sort of questions in an interview

  12. It’s about time NFL scouts and executives figure out that asking questions about a potentional employee’s (or his parents) sex habbits is illegal.
    It doesn’t matter if he’s making $20 an hour or $20 million, the law is the law.

  13. nfcbeast, typing “muah” is pretty feminine don’t ya think? Geno is not this kid’s real name, his dad is former NFL safety Gene Atkins, Geno was a nickname given to him while his father played for the Saints.
    CleanSlaton, very good! tops for the day from what I’ve read.

  14. Am I missing something here? Isn’t it illegal for a potential employer to ask a potential employee about his sexuality??

  15. LOL, so lets just say the Steelers had asked that question to Maurkice Pouncey, would they have immediately tried to retract their selection, when they saw him kiss a dude on the lips?

  16. it puts the lotion on the skin…
    that was his twin brother, and to me looked more like an accident than an intentional kiss.

  17. what the fizzle, obviously he wouldn’t say gay, i don’t think they would’ve drafted him then, but we are talking about the bengals and many of their players have spent time in the pen

  18. I love how asking a legal and understandable (considering the interviewee) question is the biggest controversy in all of football spanning numerous posts, tons of vitriol, and several days… An ILLEGAL question? Hey, that’s fun.

  19. Spungy says:
    May 5, 2010 4:52 PM
    This is how you build a draft board for the 49ers.
    —haha. Have to make sure they fit in with all the other loons out in San Fran. I mean you talk a liberal disaster, CA in general is a perfect one. Flat broke.

  20. Actions speak louder than words. When they asked Antonio Cromartie about his sexual orientation, he didn’t pout and complain. Just worked twice as hard.

  21. Why was this an awkward question? Is he unsure of the answer????????????

  22. You dont have to ask the Packers or their fans as we all know they bat for the other team.Rosie O donnel is their hero.

  23. When it came to Kordell Stewart, they just skipped the “gay or straight” question and went right to “top or bottom”?
    Kordell avoided *pigeon-holing* himself and wisely answered, “Both”.

  24. I hear Jared Allen walked into his interview wearing assless chaps.
    When asked about it, he informed them that he “enjoys getting his cattle roped”.

  25. A few more questions that were asked.
    Superman or Batman?
    Mustard or Ketchup?
    And the ever popular, Tits or ass?

  26. Perhaps a pillow to bite and a blankie to wipe away the shameful tears…..

  27. BTW, what specifically is “fun” about the question of someone’s sexual preference?

  28. if you’re traveling in your car at the speed of light, and turn your lights on, what happens?

  29. Rumor has it, JaMarcus Russell was asked what his favorite fast food meal was. His response? “All of the above.”

  30. question to USC player:
    what would be considered a substantial salary increase?

  31. @Profanity in ALL CAPS
    Don’t you mean decrease? ZING! Also, I believe if you were traveling at the speed of light and you turned your lights on you would be moving the same rate as your lights so they probably wouldn’t help light the road in front of you up.
    I think we do need an openly gay football player though. Just to get it out of the way. Its going to happen at some point. I just hope its someone like Revis, or Patrick Willis, or a Larry Allen type. Someone who is unquestionably good.

  32. The mcds or bk question is kinda strange but the blanket question to me seems a question of intelligence? The only reference I could think of to that is pillow biter? Even though I’m not homosexual, I think that term is disgusting and rude but how does this question in the nfl mean anything other than which would you choose? Whatever, I think it is ridiculous to even be discussing it? And FYI, I would choose the blanket so i could fold up a lil part for my head and still have some left to curl up in….

  33. I prefer a pillow AND a blanket, but that does not mean I am bi or like trios…

  34. My flowered dress or my striped dress, that was asked by Childress of all the Viking canidates.

  35. Who cares what they ask these kids? It’s only because so many of you have been brainwashed by the limp-wristed media and leftist college professors that any of this stuff is offensive to you. Sissified liberalism and it’s focus on feelings & and emotional sensitivity. Who gives a damn what they ask these guys, they are going to be paid MILLIONS to play a kid’s game and retire by the time they are 30-35 years old!!!???
    Boo hoo, some mean nasty man asked me if I’m gay, or boo hoo some mean old cooter brown asked me if my mom is a hooch because she has an extensive arrest record and is a known drug user… boo freakin’ hoo!

  36. funi says:
    May 5, 2010 6:18 PM
    Spit or swallow? I think DTF in Millidgeville GA swallows!
    Ben didn’t get off. Now go bite your pillow.

  37. As a human resources professional, I can tell you that there is no such thing as an illegal question in an interview.
    You can ask anything you want, at any time.
    However, you better be prepared to defend any choices you make after the interviews, and you may be forced to prove that you did not illegally discriminate based on the answers received.
    I always coach managers to determine the business reason they are looking for when asking a question. If you are concerned about an ability to work o/t, don’t ask if they have kids. Ask if they are available to work ot.
    The truth is, Even if you ask a question, and make a decision someone would have to bring a charge with eeoc or regulatory agency for it to potentially be a problem.
    That will never happen in the nfl.

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