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MJD

Some team asked a draft prospect about his sexual orientation

MJD
Shutdown Corner

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Since Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland was raked over the coals for asking Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute, the pre-draft interview process has been under a little more scrutiny than usual.

Weird questions have always been a part of the process, though. Teams go all Harry Caray and ask things like, "If you were a hot dog and you were starving, would you eat yourself?" They don't do it because they need to know what would happen in the unlikely event that you do turn into a hot dog and are deprived of food for several days, they do it to see how you react in the face of something unexpected.

That's not a justification for anything, but that's why it happens. With that in mind, here are more examples of pre-draft zaniness from Geno Atkins(notes), a fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals.

"The only unusual question I got was if I was straight or gay," said Atkins, a Georgia defensive tackle whose father, Gene, played 10 seasons in the NFL. "And that was about it.

"'McDonald's or Burger King?' I think 'pillow or blanket?' was another one," Atkins added. "Those were the strange, unusual ones I got. I was like, 'What does that have to do with football?' I think they were kind of trying to loosen me up a little bit."

Sean Lee(notes), a linebacker out of Penn State, had a team deliberately try to tick him off.

"That was probably the most unusual thing I had, somebody came at me and said, 'I've never seen a guy from Penn State make plays.' Really, you just have to keep your cool and come back with passionate but respectful answers."

There will always be the argument that if a team's going to pay a guy millions of dollars, they have a right to test him however they see fit. And I think there is some validity to that, but it also doesn't eliminate all boundaries.

You still have to treat people with a basic level of human respect. Your employer gives you money, but that doesn't give him or her the right to come into your cubicle and ask about your mother's sexual history or about your sexual preference. There's still a line.

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