New NFL Efforts Aimed at Curbing Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Coming on the heels of accusations by draft prospects that they were asked their sexual orientation at the NFL’s Scouting Combine earlier this year, the league offered assurances that it will reinforce its existing policies barring discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The April 24 announcement came in the wake of discussions between NFL officials and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

“My office is committed to ensuring equal protection under the law for all employees and job applicants no matter where they work,” Schneiderman said, according to an ESPN report.

The attorney general contacted the NFL after the combine accusations came to light because such questioning “would be illegal in New York.”

According to ESPN, “The NFL said earlier this month that it found no specific violations in its investigation of the allegations,” but that does not mean the league will not be making reforms in its anti-discrimination efforts.

“The league will circulate its policy to all 32 teams and hang posters in locker rooms explaining anti-discrimination rules,” ESPN reported. They will also “hold training sessions for league personnel,” presumably regarding the policy and discrimination sensitivity. Finally, the league pledged “it would strengthen its protocols for reporting incidents of discrimination or harassment,” and “agreed to periodically report its progress,” according to Schneiderman’s office.

“The NFL has a long history of valuing diversity and inclusion,” Roger Goodell, the NFL commissioner said. “Discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation is not consistent with our values and is unacceptable in the National Football League.”