Falcons assistant coach apologizes for asking Eli Apple if he was gay
Eli Apple was asked a question by an NFL assistant that was out of the ordinary, even by today’s pre-draft interview standards.
The first question the former Ohio State cornerback was asked in his meeting with the Atlanta Falcons was whether or not he “liked men.”
Apple revealed that odd story in an appearance on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. The Falcons issued an immediate apology following the broadcast.
The assistant who asked the question, Marquand Manuel, followed that up on Monday by delivering an apology to Apple.
“I take full responsibility for the inappropriate question I asked at the combine,” Manuel said in a statement. “It was wrong and I apologize to Eli Apple, [Falcons owner] Mr. [Arthur] Blank, the entire Falcons organization, my family, and our Falcon fans for my insensitivity. I understand it was inappropriate and the offense people have taken to it.
“I have had an individual counseling session on social responsibility today, and was part of a staff session as well, and found it very valuable in learning from this situation. Moving forward, I will become a better man by going through all of this.”
NFL organizations have been advised not to ask players about sexual orientation during the pre-draft interview process.
When Apple recalled the story last week, he talked about the reaction he had to the bizarre opening question:
The Falcons have the No. 17 pick, and could have a shot at taking Apple. After this whole situation, however, the two parties might not have much of a future together.