NFL teams try to catch prospects off-guard when they interview them at the NFL Scouting Combine. During a sample 15-minute session, for instance, NFL Network's Steve Mariucci asked West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith what the "drug of choice" was on his campus.
Smith seemed stunned for a moment, then said he didn't know.
But there is a line in these sessions that shouldn't be crossed. Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland was roundly criticized for asking Dez Bryant three years ago whether Bryant's mother was a prostitute. Colorado tight end Nick Kasa gave an example of a question asked this week that should raise eyebrows.
"They ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend?' Are you married? Do you like girls?' Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it's a pretty weird experience altogether," Kasa told ESPN Radio Denver Tuesday, via ProFootballTalk.
It sounds more than weird. It's embarrassing. I could imagine folks in the league office reading this and cringing, so I reached out to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.
"Like all employers, our teams are expected to follow applicable federal, state and local employment laws," he said in a statement. "It is league policy to neither consider nor inquire about sexual orientation in the hiring process.
"In addition, there are specific protections in our Collective Bargaining Agreement with the players that prohibit discrimination against any player, including on the basis of sexual orientation. We will look into the report on the questioning of Nick Kasa at the Scouting Combine. Any team or employee that inquires about impermissible subjects or makes an employment decision based on such factors is subject to league discipline."
It sounds like the league will find out from Kasa what team asked him the sexual orientation questions. It makes you wonder if the team asks all prospects about their sexual orientation or whether they target certain prospects.
Whatever the reason, it's a ridiculous practice. Look for the league to follow up on this one.
Follow Gregg Rosenthal on Twitter @greggrosenthal.