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NFL reminds teams of sexual orientation, harassment policy

  • By Kevin Patra NFL.com
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The NFL sent a memo to teams and players Monday to reiterate the league's sexual orientation anti-discrimination and harassment policy guidelines.

The memo, obtained by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, outlines the league's expectations and underscores appropriate workplace etiquette and hiring policies.

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Coming on the heels of an investigation after some draft-eligible prospects said they were asked about their sexual orientation during the NFL Scouting Combine in February.

According to The Associated Press, the NFL found no "specific violations" in questions teams asked college players at the combine. The league's memo specifically addresses interviewing and hiring inquiries.

"Coaches, General Managers and others responsible for interviewing and hiring draft-eligible players and free agents must not seek information concerning or make personnel decisions based on a player's sexual orientation," the memo states. "This includes asking questions during an interview that suggest that the player's sexual orientation will be a factor in the decision to draft or sign him."

The league also provided specific examples of questions that would be considered inappropriate, such as:

"Do you like women or men? How well do you do with the ladies? Do you have a girlfriend?"

Several of these samples came directly from what players said they were asked during interviews at the combine.

The memo also quotes the equal employment opportunity language in the CBA, defines specifically harassment and discrimination -- including unwelcome contact; jokes, comments and antics; put-downs; and suggestive language -- and details how players or coaches should report such actions.

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