The NFL continues to take on negative press, and it appears that they’re not doing too much to change the trajectory.
The NFL Combine, the scouting event for NFL prospects, are in some heat today. LSU running back, Derris Guice sat down on SiriusXM’s “Late Hits” Wednesday night and detailed his experience. That of which included several NFL teams asking him if he’s gay, and another even questioning if his mother sells her body.
“It was pretty crazy,” Guice said on SiriusXM’s “Late Hits” Wednesday night. “Some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction … I go in one room, and a team will ask me do I like men, just to see my reaction. I go in another room, they’ll try to bring up one of my family members or something and tell me, ‘Hey, I heard your mom sells herself. How do you feel about that?’”
A report conducted by Pro Football Talk confirmed that Guice was, in fact, asked about his sexual preference. They did not divulge which teams asked the players, but it is known to be a common practice at the scouting event.space“>
“The fact that Derrius Guice was asked by an NFL team — and a prospective employer — about his sexual orientation is absurd and inappropriate,” said Ashland Johnson of the Human Rights Campaign on Thursday.
“With similar incidents already reported, it’s clear that the NFL did not do enough to prevent it from happening again,” read the statement. “Guice’s experience illustrates the risks faced by millions of LGBTQ people today in employment, athletics, housing and other areas of their lives. It’s why we need swift action to condemn these kinds of practices and to fight for passage of the Equality Act to ensure comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.”
“The NFL should take serious actions that address these unacceptable incidents and the perpetuation of an unwelcoming anti-LGBTQ environment, including publicly supporting the Equality Act.”
Demaurice Smith, President of the NFL Players Association, said on “PFT Live” that he believes every team that asked Guice and other players this question should be thrown out of the Combine sporting event.
NFL LGBTQ History
Michael Sam became the first openly gay NFL player to be drafted in 2014.
His NFL career has since been short-lived. Before the season opened, he was cut from the team that drafted him, the St. Louis Rams, and then had a brief stint with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad before being released in October.
In an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sam maintained that there other gay players in the NFL currently. It’s a statement he’s made before, notably to talk show host Oprah Winfrey back in December.
“I am not the only gay person in the NFL,” Sam said. “I’m just saying there is a lot of us. I respect the players that did reach out to me and had the courage to tell me that they were also gay, but they do not have the same courage as I do to come out before I even played a down in the NFL.
Sam, whose 2015 appearance on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars made some critics question his “focus” on football, said he may have been naïve when he decided to come out as gay.
“Maybe I thought it was 2014, and people will understand that there’s gay NFL players,” Sam said at the time.”There’s gay athletes everywhere. But I was clearly wrong. It was a huge deal.”
Sam had not been picked up by an NFL team since his brief tenure with the Cowboys, and retired from the game following his Dancing With The Stars stint for “mental health reasons”. He participated in the NFL’s Veteran Combine earlier that year, but reportedly didn’t perform particularly well.
“Hopefully I’m not being discriminated [against] because I’m gay,” Sam said. “I don’t believe that I’m being discriminated [against] because I’m gay. I just want to know if I’m truly not in the NFL, it’s because of talent. Let it be because of my talents. But you’ve got to prove that I can’t play this game. If you look at the film, clearly I can. So, I’ll leave it at that.”