Yes, people are defending “do you like men?” as a useful interview question

Getty Images

It shouldn’t be a surprise, in our current red-blue-right-wrong-yell-scream climate, that people are defending the indefensible efforts by teams to question incoming players regarding their sexuality. Some defend the question based on the fact that the locker room consists of men who are in various states of undress. Some defend the question based on the notion that, if the goal is simply to elicit a reaction, anything goes.

Both positions defy the fact that the NFL has said that it’s inappropriate to ask, “Do you like men?” While the lack of effective steps to punish and deter offenders raises questions about whether the NFL views potentially illegal interview questions to be as potentially detrimental to public confidence in the game of professional football as, say, football air pressure, the inappropriateness of the question has been resolved conclusively by the league.

That’s not stopping various hot-take dog-whistlers from trying to cater to their bases by saying the things that will get the intended audience to say, “Hell yeah” and/or to further bemoan “politically correctness run amok.” It’s predictable. It’s forced. It’s hokey. And it’s wrong.

Not just morally wrong, but logically wrong. Gay men have moved freely within locker rooms for decades. The vast majority have chosen to remain discreet about their sexuality because: (1) it’s irrelevant to their job; and/or (2) unenlightened heterosexual members of the locker room may equate homosexuality with a proclivity to attempt to have sex with any male mammal who happens to be within reach.

So, under the theory offered by those defending the question based on its substance, the goal is to get gay players to voluntarily out themselves to strangers, which will allow sexuality to be added to the spreadsheet that includes height, weight, and 40-yard dash time, apparently resulting in a balancing test that has the G.M. weighing football factors along with “propensity to establish a wide stance in a bathroom stall.”

Under the theory that it’s all being done to get a reaction out of the players, the fact that the teams (and the players) would think that this is the kind of question that should prompt any reaction at all shows how outdated the NFL mentality really is. Ideally, “do you like men or women?” would prompt a response no different than if a player were asked, “do you like Coke or Pepsi?” The fact that questions about sexuality would be regarded by the team, by the player, and by those defending the question on this basis as something that would provoke a negative reaction says plenty about team, player, and those defending the question on this basis.

“Do you like men?” should prompt no reaction at all. “Do you like men?” has nothing to do with football, or any employment. The fact that “do you like men?” is still being asked, for either reason, shows that too many people associated with sports (and associated with talking about sports) fail to understand just how irrelevant, inappropriate, and offensive the question is.

The fact that anyone connected to the NFL sees any type of value, direct or indirect, in asking “do you like men?” suggests a level of homophobia and Archie Bunker pigheadedness that will be eradicated not by seminars and counseling sessions but by actual discipline and, if necessary, litigation.

47 responses to “Yes, people are defending “do you like men?” as a useful interview question

  1. you want to get a reaction out of players to see if they stay level-headed? simple, ask them to eat chocolate cake with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. sit back and evaluate the reactions

  2. I would like to see the Venn diagram that includes the people who are saying this with the people who claim that no one cares and no one should ever discuss orientation.

  3. They shouldn’t be allowed to ask anything any other employer can. I don’t get why the rules are different here and they don’t fall under the same laws. Ask this in any other interview and you will be fired and your company sued.

  4. I am not into the whole politically correct, liberal crap that others are, but I do think asking “do you like men”, is an inappropriate question that should not be asked.

  5. I guess people just don’t realize the mouth on these guys in the locker room and the field. The question IMO wasn’t to see if he was truly gay. It was more about how he could handle trash talking from others. Last thing a team wants is a soft whiny player. Take a look at Jonathan Martin, completely tore the Dolphins organization apart because he is so thin skin.

  6. I can’t believe this question was asked in those exact words in the first place. If they were, then I can’t believe they were asked for any other reason than to evoke an emotional response. Because, at the end of the day, the scouts talk to friends, families, coaches and other players. If this was a concern of the team, they have other means in which to find out someone’s sexual orientation rather than asking a point blank question that will lead to s-storm in the media.

  7. Sure, because the people who think otherwise couldn’t possibly have any sound, moral or philosophical reasons to disagree. They couldn’t possibly have thought about the situation and come to their own line of reasoning as to why it is right or wrong.

  8. Employers in any other field can’t ask questions relating to sexuality, age, religion, marital status, parenting status, among other things. Why is it OK for football coaches to ask those questions. If it has nothing to do with the ability to do the job, then it shouldn’t be asked. If their excuse is because they want to see how they handle stress or whatever, I bet neurosurgeons or firefighters aren’t asked those types of questions and those are a lot more stressful jobs than playing football. I think people in sports need to be taught professionalism more than just to not ask about sexuality.

  9. It’s funny that people who have no morals, liberals, try to appear to be on a moral high ground.

  10. The reason it would be chosen as a test question is because its just the sort of crap they will get hit with on the field from opponents trying to get in their heads. I think that reality is getting totally missed is what WILL happen on the field whether people like it or not.

  11. Michael E says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    It’s funny that people who have no morals, liberals, try to appear to be on a moral high ground.
    ———
    To me the only morals one can truly judge are their own.

  12. the people defending it are also the same ones who think football is, “a bunch of men showering together.”

  13. Michael E says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm
    It’s funny that people who have no morals, liberals, try to appear to be on a moral high ground.

    ****************************************************************************************
    Isn’t the current president a “conservative”? I think that it’s safe to say that he has zero morals and that’s not even debatable.

  14. Florio – honest answer….best post I have ever seen from you.

    I admit I don’t like politics in my sports. Most people who claim to worship a party, like those who say liberals have no morals (don’t get me started on the moral failings of conservatives AND progressives throughout the years – that’s for a different site) aren’t paying attention to the facts. I get that – it is safer to belong than it is to think critically. For some people.

    This one I make an exception for. Your post is thoughtful, fact-based, and challenges ignorance. You don’t attack anyone, but you challenge people to consider their beliefs and where they come from. I may be quoting it on my own blog today. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Useful and acceptable aren’t mutually exclusive. Is the question useful? Maybe. None of us are familiar with the inner workings of an NFL locker room and the things that go on, so who knows if the answer to the question is useful. I don’t think many people would find the question to be acceptable, however.

  16. I hire people all day that’s my Job. If I even uttered something close to being looked at like that. I would be escorted out of the building without a second thought. The NFL needs to have some decorum when it comes to this. That isn’t protecting the Shield.

  17. I don’t think it serves any use, but if there’s no stigma attached to being gay, then there’s no harm in the question.

    The left wants it both ways, as usual.

  18. Just because you’re gay doesn’t mean you can’t play HOF level. That’s what makes the question irrelevant. Ask the Browns how being straight and beating women worked out for Johnny football.

  19. If im about to be drafted and make millions you can ask me anything i dont care. society has gotten so soft, ( you cant ask that ) wahhhh wahhhhh. you hurt my feelings wahhhhhhhh.

  20. Dennis Carson says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:06 pm
    “Employers in any other field can’t ask questions relating to sexuality, age, religion, marital status, parenting status, among other things.”

    “I bet neurosurgeons or firefighters aren’t asked those types of questions and those are a lot more stressful jobs than playing football.”

    _____________________

    I have no idea what firefighters or surgeons are asked in their interviews… however, when attempting to become a police officer you are required to pass a psych exam (L.A. city/county at least) in which you may be asked if you believe in the devil, if you’ve ever had sexual thoughts about your mother or animals, if you look in the toilet when you get up from using the bathroom, and all kinds of other fun stuff. So yes, some (potential) employers may ask those questions. Hope you didn’t bet much.

  21. you want to get a reaction out of players to see if they stay level-headed? simple, ask them to eat chocolate cake with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. sit back and evaluate the reactions
    =============================
    what will be an expected reaction from eating a chocolate cake with the orange juice?

  22. When they asked Dez Bryant if his mom was a prostitute, was that a real question or just to get a reaction? Everyone knew Dez was a hot head but it didn’t affect his draft. Why keep asking these questions?

  23. @redzen: Well said.

    “…it is safer to belong than it is to think critically.”

    Everybody should take a moment and let that rattle around in their head.

  24. Everyone knew Dez was a hot head but it didn’t affect his draft. Why keep asking these questions?
    =====

    Bryant went 24th overall…. Would he have gone 10-15 spots higher if people didn’t know he was such a numbskull?

  25. It’s funny how as a species, some people think it’s “normal” for males to be with males. These are the same people that spout on and on about science, I would think in the science world being gay would be an “abnormal action” in a species.

  26. The question should not be asked. Pretty simple. The NFL needs to make an example this time & fine the individual & club whom asked the question (because fines make such a difference to these paycheck to paycheck individuals). Seriously, this needs to end.
    However, I have to ask, who are the anonymous people you are referencing whom are defending the question? #AnonymousSources
    Lol, couldn’t resist.

  27. swagjag says:
    March 9, 2018 at 12:23 pm
    If I asked an interviewee that question, I would be fired. Why is the NFL different from all other employers?

    40 10 Rate This

    —————————

    Well, apparently, judges Chin and PArker, both paid off by Goodell, told us all that Article 46 puts Goodell above US law, regardless, save for rape and murder.

    Goodell can do whatever he wants whenever he wants, which is why he thought lying about Ray Rice TWICE, appeared perfectly normal to him.

    He wanted to keep his Augusta National connection (Bisciotti) and try make Baltimore is competitive as possible to help beat the Pats.

    Funny how the world works, huh?

  28. “Bryant went 24th overall…. Would he have gone 10-15 spots higher if people didn’t know he was such a numbskull?”

    Maybe but every team knew he was a hot head before the combine. He came in to the draft festooned with red flags. Asking the disrespectful question about his mom didn’t add one more jot of info the team didn’t already have.

  29. They are also forgetting there are people who like both men and women… it’s such outdated thinking that someone can only like being with one type there mores than 2 nowadays.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!