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.”

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