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Have NFL Teams Violated Employment Discrimination Laws?

Employment discrimination laws protect job applicants from being asked questions about their marital status and sexual orientation. While it is easy to forget, prospective NFL draft picks being interviewed by NFL teams before the draft in April are prospective employees. So when prospect Nick Kasa revealed that an NFL team had asked him about his relationship status, it got the attention of the New York Attorney General.

According to an article in USA Today, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman contacted the NFL, whose main offices are located in New York City, to look into whether the teams have violated employment discrimination laws by asking prospects about their sexuality or their relationship status.

In a recent statement, Schneiderman said, “From the Scouting Combine to the playing fields, everyone deserves equal protection under the law and the right to a fair workplace.” Scheiderman went on to say, “In New York State, we have no tolerance for discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or perceived orientation. Employment discrimination is ethically wrong and illegal no matter who the employer is. I hope we can work together with the National Football League to send a powerful message that employment discrimination will not be tolerated in any form.”

An NFL spokesman said that the league was looking into the matter and that they would be discussing it at the next league meeting. The head of the NFL Players Association said, “I know that the NFL agrees that these types of questions violate the law, our CBA and player rights.”

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