So what does the NFL do to ensure that teams won’t ask inappropriate questions to incoming rookies at the Scouting Combine or elsewhere?
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the NFL provides clear and specific language on the topic that should be avoided. The admonition comes in the form of an annual memo, with a direction to share it with all persons who will be involved in the process.
Questions to be avoided included, per the source: (1) do you like women or men?; (2) are you gay or straight?; (3) do you have any children/dependents and, if yes, who has primary caretaking responsibilities?; and (4) did you marry your child’s mother and, if not, why not?
It’s good that the memo is sent, but it’s clear that the memo isn’t working as well as it could be. More needs to be done, including but not limited to the imposition of meaningful discipline for those who violate the rules.
As suggested earlier, teams should be required to record and preserve all interactions with incoming rookies. It’s an easy way to ensure that lines won’t be crossed — and to quickly confirm that lines were crossed.
If they continue to be. And without more meaningful efforts from the league, they will.