At the combine, Falcons assistant coach Marquand Manuel went way over the line by questioning NFL prospect Eli Apple about his sexual orientation. As Apple told Comcast SportsNet, Manuel asked him, "Do you like men?"
On Monday, Manuel apologized for his inappropriate inquiry in a written statement, saying, "It was wrong and I apologize to Eli Apple, Mr. Blank, the entire Falcons organization, my family, and our Falcon fans for my insensitivity."
Head coach Dan Quinn also commented on the matter, mentioning that the team held a "training seminar" with the coaching staff. Both of their statements can be read below.
Dan Quinn and Marquand Manuel have issued statements regarding incident at Combine. pic.twitter.com/ThNYqkTg1h— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) March 7, 2016
After Apple, a cornerback from Ohio State, revealed what transpired during his interaction with Manuel, Quinn immediately apologized. Then, the league got involved. On Friday, the NFL revealed that it will investigate the inappropriate line of questioning.
As SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann pointed out, "The NFL clearly prohibits teams from asking players about their sexual orientation, among other topics that implicate privacy interests and that are irrelevant to someone's ability to play football."
So, despite the apology, punishment could still be coming from the league. And really, given just how inappropriate that question is, the Falcons have no right to complain if the NFL decides to discipline them.