In discussing the experiences of The Ohio State University cornerback Eli Apple at the NFL combine, Chicago Tribune sports writer Chris Hine opened up about his own sexuality.
Apple claimed that during an interview with the Atlanta Falcons, one of the team's assistant coaches, Marquand Manuel asked, "Do you like men?" Manuel also allegedly told Apple, "If you're going to come to Atlanta, sometimes that's how it is around here, you're going to have to get used to it."
Hine wrote, "As a 29-year-old gay man, I spent the better part of two decades agonizing over that question and finally, when I was 20, came to accept that the answer was 'Yes.' It took another two years before I could tell my family, another year after that before I mustered up the courage to tell my closest friends and, well, six years after that to finally write about it in the Chicago Tribune."
He also stated that the assistant coach's reputed questions constituted "a remarkably awkward and obtuse way to begin a conversation" and also represented "a dangerous line of thinking. ... It is this kind of thinking that can lead to discrimination and even hate crimes against LGBTQ athletes."
Apple has not said that he is gay.
ESPN Radio's Steve Mason recently used those alleged Atlanta Falcons questions to come out as gay, according to Outsports. Talking about the Atlanta Falcons' questions about the sexual orientation of NFL prospect Eli Apple, Mason and co-host John Ireland engaged in a "mock" interview, with Ireland asking Mason about his attraction to men.
Read more of Hine's article at www.miamiherald.com/sports/nfl/article64920477.html .