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The NFL has increased its punishments for teams that ask “improper and/or offensive questions” of draft prospects at the NFL Scouting Combine, according to a league memo obtained by CBSSports.com’s Jonathan Jones.
A team that violates the rules could be fined a minimum of $350,000 and forfeit a draft pick no later than a third-rounder.
Every year, draft prospects shed light on a few of the superfluous questions NFL team personnel posed to them at the combine. In some cases, those revelations have placed the teams themselves under scrutiny.
One of the more famous examples came in 2010, when then-Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Derrius Guice said he was asked the same question ahead of the 2018 draft in addition to a query about his sexual identity, though the NFL was unable to corroborate the allegations.
In 2016, an assistant coach for the Atlanta Falcons apologized to Eli Apple for asking about the cornerback’s sexual identity.
The NFL sent a memo to its 32 teams in January 2022 laying out how a minimum fine of $150,000 and the forfeiture of a draft pick could result from posing inappropriate questions at the combine.
Jones explained how the league with its most recent memo “reminded teams that federal and state laws, along with the collective bargaining agreement, prohibit discrimination based on factors like race, national origin, religion, disabilities or sexual orientation.”