Roger Goodell says NFL has provided training against teams asking prospects about sexual orientation

March 18, 2013

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa at the NFL scouting combine (AP)

The NFL provided training to executives from its teams Monday at the annual league meeting in Phoenix, according to Commissioner Roger Goodell, after a player said he was asked about his sexual orientation during the team-by-team interviewing process at last month’s scouting combine.

“We made a statement immediately when we got that report,” Goodell said. “We have been following up with the players and their representatives directly. We are also this afternoon working with all of our executives that lead in that position to make sure they understand what you can’t ask and what you can ask.”

Colorado tight end Nick Kasa said in a radio interview that he was asked at the combine whether he’s married, has a girlfriend and likes girls. He did not identify which team or teams were involved.

“We’re a professional organization,” Goodell said. “That’s unacceptable. We will do things the right way. We will give them that education and that training. I hope that will solve the problem.”

On other topics, Goodell said Monday that he expects to have further discussions this week about the future of the Pro Bowl. He reiterated that he believes this year’s game was more competitively played than in the past. The league previously has threatened to eliminate the Pro Bowl because of listless play.

“I think clearly there was improved effort,” Goodell said. “I’ve spoken to several of the players and so I appreciate that. … [Players] also met with the competition committee last month to talk about what we can do to make the game more attractive, more exciting and more competitive. And there are some very good ideas. I’m going to report to the membership on that over the next two days and before we leave here, I think we’ll be able to fill you in a little more.”

Goodell said he does not think the power outage at the Superdome at this year’s Super Bowl will affect future Super Bowl bids by this year’s host, New Orleans.

“I don’t think it’ll have an effect at all on the Super Bowl and New Orleans’ hopes of getting another one,” Goodell said. “They did a great job. I mentioned that this morning to our membership and I think they deserve another Super Bowl.”

 

Mark Maske covers the NFL for The Washington Post.
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Mark Maske · March 18, 2013