Falcons apologize after asking prospect if ‘he liked men’


FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons issued an apology Friday to a prospect for an inappropriate and possibly homophobic question he was asked recently at the NFL scouting combine.

One coach asked Ohio State prospect Eli Apple if “he liked men.” The prospect was caught off-guard and went public with the story.

“This is disappointing and clearly inappropriate as the Falcons acknowledged,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ProFootballTalk.com by email. “We will look into it.”

Apple, a New Jersey native, was making an appearance on Comcast SportsNet’s “Breakfast On Broad” in Philadelphia to talk about his potential future in the NFL.

“I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said in statement sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Friday. “I have spoken to the coach that interviewed Eli Apple and explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was. I have reiterated this to the entire coaching staff, and I want to apologize to Eli for this even coming up. This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about, and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves.”

The Apple incident was the third reported misstep by an assistant coach from the recently completed scouting combine.

Assistant coach Bryan Cox got into a shoving match with a scout from Arizona, and offensive line coaches asked Western Michigan tackle Willie Beavers if saw himself as a “cat or a dog.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Atlanta Falcons

Video: Quinn on McKinley and Julio Jones 
Video: Quinn on McKinley and Julio Jones 

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn answers questions about rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley and wide receiver Julio Jones after reviewing the first day of practice.
Quinn on Jones: ‘He felt good on most of his cuts’
Quinn on Jones: ‘He felt good on most of his cuts’

Two-time Falcons All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, who’s recovering from offseason foot surgery, apparently is working through some issues with his surgically repaired foot although he looked fine in pass-catching drills during the first practice of training camp Thursday. Jones was jumping to make some catches and didn’t appear to have...
McKinley impressive in drills
McKinley impressive in drills

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley was one of the first players on the field for the opening practice of training camp Thursday. He went off to the side, alone, and swung his left arm in a big looping motion and then his surgically repaired right shoulder and arm. Everything felt good, and he nodded his head. He was ready to start his professional...
Garland opens training camp with first-team offense
Garland opens training camp with first-team offense

When the Falcons went offense against defense in passing drills Thursday, Ben Garland was working at right guard with the first unit, and Wes Schweitzer with the second unit.  Rookie Sean Harlow, a fourth-round draft choice out of Oregon State, drew snaps with the second unit at left guard. “Ben was the one that started the whole thing off...
Video: D. Led’s early takes on first practice 
Video: D. Led’s early takes on first practice 

Here some observations from the early portion of the Falcons’ first practice on Thursday: 1. Julio Jones looked very comfortable moving around and making catches. 2. Running back Devonta Freeman needed some extra stretching from the training staff.  3. First-round draft pick Takkarist McKinley, who’s coming back from shoulder surgery...
More Stories