Guice, a former Lousiana State University running back, told SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday that a team at the NFL Scouting Combine asked him if he was gay. He also said they asked if his mother was a prostitute.
“Some people are really trying to get in your head and test your reaction,” Guice said in the interview, according to USA Today. “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?’”
The athlete didn’t specify which team asked him the questions, but said he was told to “come in prepared” for the combine.
“You’re being watched and tested the whole time,” he said.
Following Guice’s interview, NBC’s Pro Football Talk confirmed via a source with knowledge of the situation that the questions he referenced were indeed asked.
The news was quickly denounced by the Human Rights Campaign.
The Human Rights Campaign’s Ashland Johnson blasted the inquiries into Guice’s sexuality “as absurd and inappropriate” in a statement on the organization’s website.
“Guice’s experience illustrates the risks faced by millions of LGBTQ people today in employment, athletics, housing and other areas of their lives,” Johnson, who is HRC’s director of public education and research, wrote.
A spokesman told Pro Football Talk that the NFL was “looking into the matter.”
“A question such as that is completely inappropriate and wholly contrary to league workplace policies,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said Thursday. “The NFL and its clubs are committed to providing equal employment opportunities to all employees in a manner that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, state and federal laws and the CBA.”
Unfortunately, Guice’s claims are not isolated. In 2016, New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple said the Atlanta Falcons asked him similar questions during an interview.
“The Falcons coach, one of the coaches, was like, ‘So, do you like men?’ It was like the first thing he asked me,” Apple told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. “It was weird. I was just like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘If you’re going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that’s how it is around here, you’re going to have to get used to it.’”
The Falcons’ head coach Dan Quinn later apologized to Apple, saying he’d spoken to the coach who interviewed the athlete and “explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was.”
“This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about,” Quinn said, “and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves.”