If Falcons’ inept questioning widespread, somebody should lose job

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn responds to a question during a news conference at the NFL football scouting combine Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn seemed surprise when informed an assistant coach asked a draft prospect at the scouting combine if he “liked men.” (AP photo)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Like a lot of struggling football teams, the Falcons sometimes have a blocking problem. And a tackling problem. They have problems throwing the ball, catching the ball and sometimes even kicking the ball.

But in their search for players to solve all of these problems, no coach, scout or member of the organization ever should feel compelled to ask the question: “So. Are you gay?” Because, really, I don’t care if my left tackle or middle linebacker or strong safety sleeps with stuffed animals, Gumby and an 8-by-10 of the Easter Bunny.

How about this question: “Can you play football?” Because that’s one question the Falcons don’t seem to be asking enough.

When Falcons coach Dan Quinn issued a statement of apology Friday after learning one of his assistants asked Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple if “he liked men,” an obvious query into his sexual orientation, it may have been only the tip of the iceberg. Our D. Orlando Ledbetter is now reporting that line of questioning might have involved more than just one draft prospect at the recent NFL scouting combine.

“A few players told me the Falcons were asking gender (sic) questions,” the person told Ledbetter. “After (Michael) Sam and the Jonathan Martin situation, teams want to be careful.”

This is what I don’t understand. The only “Michael Sam situation” is that it turned out the former Missouri defensive end wasn’t good enough to play in the NFL. Also, Martin never has said he was gay, he was bullied by then Miami teammate Richie Incognito, fueled by Incognito’s suspicions (or idiot-tendencies) that he was gay.

I understand the suggestion that a player’s sexual orientation, if he’s open about it, can be a potential problem in the locker room for some neanderthals. But if any general manager, coach or scout truly believes there aren’t homosexual players on NFL rosters now, they’re deluded. If they really don’t want a gay player on the roster, then don’t draft somebody they suspect might be homosexual. And don’t ask them, even jokingly, “Do you like men?” because somebody trying to keep it a secret isn’t going to tell you anyway.

Also, heterosexual and homosexual players generally have one thing in common: It’s going to really upset them that you asked such a stupid question and they’re probably going to tell the media or their agent or both. Also, it’s against the law and NFL policy.

Question: Does the knucklehead Falcons’ coach — or coaches — really believe that anything like that could be asked in 2016 and have it not get out? Because if that’s true, I have to question his intelligence, which I value much more than his sexual orientation.

The Falcons aren’t commenting on the latest allegation. The NFL will investigate. I would be surprised if the Falcons don’t at least get hit with a steep fine for the Apple admission alone.

If it’s true that the Falcons’ line of questioning at the combine in Indianapolis was more widespread than believed, somebody may lose a job. Somebody should lose their job. The only party more concerned about image and perceptions than the NFL is Falcons owner Arthur Blank.

The Falcons went into this offseason looking to fix problems. Instead, they’ve only added to them.

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80 comments
marcdglenn
marcdglenn

@JeffSchultzAJC I remember lots of incompetent management under the Smith family. But even then, the Falcons weren't this embarrassing.

PappyHappy
PappyHappy

Getting an uneasy feeling that NO ONE IS REALLY IN CHARGE OF THE FALCONS!  Matt Ryan took a lot of blame last year, but maybe it was incompetent coaching that was part of the problem.


There were whines over Roddy White's less than stellar year, but it is hard to catch passes when you are sitting on the bench -- again, a coaching problem.


And now, we have homophobic nonsense at a combine of all places.


Did Mr. Blank make a BAD MISTAKE when he fired Mike Smith?  Did he make a bigger mistake when he hired a young defensive coordinator from Seattle?


Some adult is going to have to enter the room and take charge, or Mr. Blank is going to be embarrassed when he opens his new stadium, and he finds himself lonesome due to the empty seats!

peanutgallery
peanutgallery

At least the Falcons are good at drafting straight football players who can't block or rush the QB. 

ZAZ
ZAZ

Again, do the Falcons just have a bunch of untrained coaches showing up at these things and flying by the seats of their pants? So weird that the club wouldn't have a plan and formal training for these things. Shouldn't be a surprise if you've seen Dimitroff and his fashion sense. He looks like a kook.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Perhaps they needed to add black men or white men? 

loel
loel

maybe he should have asked him if " he likes girls",,, would  that have made a difference????????

DrPhill
DrPhill

A better question would be "how often do you beat your girlfriend and/or wife?"

TOJacket
TOJacket

Maybe he is a Bi-sexual and just wants to double his chance of a date on the weekend?

Dumbmick
Dumbmick


Forgive me, but my logical assumption prior to this latest blunder by the Falcon's would be that the 'Brain Trust' on the team (meaning one or more of several current &/or prior General Managers) &/or the Head Coach, would have developed a list of 'cogent' questions for each player that they were considering, weeks prior to the NFL combine. 

Also, you would think that each coach would understand the interview process....This kind of stupidity makes everyone question everything the 'Falcants' do from this point forward, and perhaps this is reflective of the truism that "there ARE too many chefs running the kitchen" in Flowery Branch....This is an embarassment for everyone from the ballboys to the owner!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Dumbmick: "This kind of stupidity makes everyone question everything the 'Falcants' do from this point forward . . . ."

_____________________ 

This point forward???

Hell, what about from this point backward the past 50 years?!

Not a lot of brilliance on display there either.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@Dumbmick Half those chefs couldn't make a damn grilled cheese sandwich..........that's the problem!

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

The league should punish the Falcons by forcing them to draft an all gay team.  That would show them who's boss.  "Arthur Blank, Mr. Goodall will see you in the shower now.  No need to bring soap." 

etherdome
etherdome

Thank you, Mr Schultz.  I am glad to see that there are still some journalists at the AJC.


This incident is certainly a legal issue that Mr Blank will have to face.  But, more than that, this incident points to the fact that the coaching staff lacks one essential element:  intelligence.  


There is at least one coach on the staff that does not meet the intelligence standard of a championship club.  For that reason, I think that the idiot-coach should be fired.  Furthermore, the rest of the coaching staff needs to be monitored more closely for stupidity.  

noname
noname

Whenever I am looking for a multi-million dollar contract, I also go on television publicly criticizing a potential employer. I feel that is the best way to get a job.

Jack M
Jack M

The Falcons have a cartoon character as an owner, a buffoon as GM and a blithering idiot as a coach. What else can you expect.

TOJacket
TOJacket

A damn educated 8 year old would know they shouldn't ask that question......did they think it's the 70's again?

E983
E983

It seem they can't get out of their own way. On the field or off the field. Week 16 they slay the dragon and week 17? Well you get the picture. Dan Quinn is the answer? I'm starting to doubt this decision to hire this man as a Head Coach. I noticed a comment yesterday from someone and reality sets in.

chalkdawg4
chalkdawg4

Could you have a worse off season?  I run a business where I try to entertain my clients.  Three years ago I had tickets to Hawks, Falcons, and Braves.  Braves tickets were about $39 in club level with a $10 food credit.  Falcons and Hawks were well over a hondo each.  I have signed in to new Braves tickets at $85 per seat in one of the club levels with a $15 food credit.  Cancelled the Falcons and Hawks two years ago.


I do live in Cobb and i look forward to the new complex.  Arthur I will not pay PSLs to come to the ghetto.  Good luck with the new "fiancee"  I am sticking with what I have at home.  As an attorney I would advise you that all future romantic partners shoud be on a contratual basis.


When the PSLs crash I my do somthing at Blank Stadium since i love the Falcons.

extremus
extremus

"I understand the suggestion that a player’s sexual orientation, if he’s open about it, can be a potential problem in the locker room for some neanderthals."

I agree with the rest of the article but it's the statement above that I take some issue with.  I've personally been in work situations where there were "flaming" gay guys who were more than merely "open" about it, and it made for a toxic, walk-on-eggs work environment.  Now what these people do and who they sleep with is their business, but those who feel uncomfortable or even a sense of revulsion around them and their antics aren't "Neanderthals", Mr. Schultz; they're frankly reacting in a NATURAL, instinctual way to behavior that does NOT belong in the workplace (and one can only imagine when that workplace includes a locker room where everyone is disrobed).


We agree that the questions posed by the Falcons coaches were inappropriate and stupid.  But using a term like "Neanderthals" to describe anyone who either feels uncomfortable around or disagrees with gays and the gay lifestyle shows that "tolerance" and "equality" are a one-way street in your "enlightened" 2016.  Here's a news flash: the only thing America's "progressing" toward is the drain on the toilet bowl.

atlcarl
atlcarl

Apparently the Falcons have misplaced their priorities . Evidently their priority is making sure all players are of the same " cookie cutter " template in their personal lives . I suppose the Falcons don't care if the players' talents and skills can achieve a Super Bowl, or win games .  The Panthers didn't care that Cam Newton wore gold , white tiger striped stretch pants on the plane to the Super Bowl. Is Cam a " metro sexual " or even gay ? I DON'T give a DxxN !!!  And neither do the Panthers .  What does matter is Cam accounted for 45 touchdowns , was the NFL MVP , and led his team to the Super Bowl . So even though I wouldn't wear those pants , I would take  a whole team of players who do wear clothes like that , or like men ,  or whatever , as long as they can PLAY , win games , and achieve the Super Bowl .  BECAUSE that's the stated priority of Arthur Blank and the Falcons .  Now the Falcons need to remember " It's winning games and the Super Bowl , Stupid " Not sexual orientation , or clothes , or anything else as long as it's not illegal drugs or dog fighting . Maybe that's why the Panthers have achieved the Super Bowl TWICE since the Falcons ONLY Super Bowl almost 20 years ago in 1998 .

DawgNole
DawgNole

@atlcarl: ". . . PLAY , win games , and achieve the Super Bowl . . . that's the stated priority of Arthur Blank and the Falcon."

_________________________

Coulda fooled me--based on their results so far.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

Hey, I'm as big a "Homer" as you are--believe it or not. I just don't have your patience after 50 years of postseason futility.

jerrasic_
jerrasic_

@JeffSchultzAJC This isn't an office job. Guys who will be disrobed around other employees need protection. It's a totally valid question.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket Thank god for spring training.....CFB spring training that is......I'm going to be very disappointed if you guys don't fill Sanford up for The Kirbster this Spring game, he is depending on you guys!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket 

Oh, TO, you're just so, er, so, uh, so . . . irreverent. Yes, that's what you are--so irreverent.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket They should just make the players wear them all the time......can't be to careful these days.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

TOO careful. Heh-heh.

But yeah, I get your drift, TO. 

It's a shame that Falcon fans are reduced to discussing this kind of crap instead of championship football.

Six looooooooooong months to go. Can't get here soon enough.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

I'm not much for spring football, TO. Same with "preseason/exhibition" games in any sport--just an evil necessity we have to endure while waiting for "the real thing."

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawgNole @TOJacket Hell, I just like putting a little Foghorn Leghorn butt slapping on you mutts!.........helps me get through the long hot summer.....nothing personal, just business.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket @DawgNole 

No prob, TO.

Yup, summer's the worst. Too hot/humid to enjoy the outdoors--and nothing worth watching on the television set except old football games, which they start teasing us with in July/August.

Arghh!

atlcarl
atlcarl

e@jerrasic_ @JeffSchultzAJC Being a Navy SEAL for 20 years isn't an office job either .  Yet a highly decorated career warrior with a chest full of medals earned for combat valor and multiple COMBAT deployments overseas fighting for this nation and the Constitution is now a transgender woman .  Should the SEALS have asked her this supposedly " valid question " during BUD/S training , which only 10 % of volunteers can complete ?  Should this so called " valid question " disqualified this warrior who valiantly defended this nation for 20 YEARS as a SEAL , for Christ's sake ? ! 

DiamondDawg17
DiamondDawg17

Why are we all assuming this is an anti-gay thing? Maybe the Falcons knowingly employ a gay coach who was just thinking about asking for a date. Wouldn't that be something we are supposed to celebrate?

DiamondDawg17
DiamondDawg17

A Techie trying to look relevant by using words he doesn't understand........shocking!