Here is the opening to my Sunday column:

There is something fundamentally abhorrent about the NFL Scouting Combine, recently concluded. Coaches and team executives put prospects through all kinds of drills and ask all kinds of questions. They treat them like slaves.

The NFL slaves can’t decide which teams they will go to. They have no freedom of choice. True, differences exist between real slaves and NFL slaves. NFL slaves make a free choice to enter the draft in the first place. No one from Africa ever asked to become a slave and work on a Southern plantation. And NFL slaves make a ton of money, something real slaves never did.

But you get the point. There is a sense of owner and owned in the Combine.

This year, the sense of owner and owned got worse. As you’ve probably read, one player alleges one team asked about his sexual orientation.

To read the full column, click here.

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  1. Stan

    What they should ask is : Do you enjoying torturing losing fighting dogs?
    Would you help to cover up a murder with your millions?
    If a woman aborts a baby that has your DNA,would you admit you might be the father?
    If you run over a man in a crosswalk or flip your car while both times being drunk and people are killed,would you admit it?
    Would you..eh,enough.

    March 3rd, 2013 10:09 am

  2. Mark M

    Further descent into this overly PC society. Of course such a thing would make a difference in a locker room. Perhaps that’s where the change in mentality really needs to happen per the Culliver situation at the Super Bowl. But we can all pretend it’s not really an issue and dance around this subject if need be. Let’s just bury our head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist. All sexual orientation discrimination aside, of course it’s a valid question since it would obviously effect the locker room. At least a team knows if it will have to give sensitivity training or not. But no…..

    March 3rd, 2013 10:12 am

  3. Bob In Portland

    Good post, Lowell. Let us know if the NFL offices ever get back to you.

    March 3rd, 2013 10:27 am

  4. Ted Sillanpaa

    Great piece of work, Lowell. I’d like to think a player would simply refuse to answer the questions because he knows that to ask them is against the law and wrong. I’d like to live in a perfect world, too.

    March 3rd, 2013 11:33 am

  5. Stan

    Joe Stiglich ,previous BANG A’s beat writer might have gone back and forth with me a couple of times..but the guy never once blocked my posts..give him that.

    March 3rd, 2013 1:01 pm

  6. CohnZohn

    Thanks, Ted.

    March 3rd, 2013 2:03 pm

  7. B-Rad

    I like gay people.
    I have a few gay friends.
    I would not mind having a gay teammate.
    I would not mind showering with gay teammates.
    I would not mind being asked out once by a gay teammate as long as it stopped there.
    But my comfort zone would be violated if I had to room on the road or training camp
    with a guy who found me sexy.

    March 3rd, 2013 2:18 pm

  8. mendozaline

    You wrote “No one from Africa ever asked to become a slave and work on a Southern plantation. ” Just a note that there was slavery in the North also.

    “…most northern states passed legislation for gradual abolition. As a result of this gradualist approach New York did not free its last slaves until 1829, Rhode Island had 5 slaves still listed in the 1840 census, Pennsylvania’s last slaves were freed in 1847, Connecticut did not completely abolish slavery until 1848, and slavery was not completely lifted in New Hampshire and New Jersey until the nationwide emancipation in 1865.” from wikipedia.

    March 3rd, 2013 2:52 pm

  9. Dr. Feelgood

    Good stance re the sexual orientation issues, but, SLAVES?
    From what I understand, African American slaves did not have Rights. They did not have free agency. They did not benefit from Due Process. They did not have a Union to represent them.
    I’m sure you get the point. The slave angle is overly hyperbolic and, and to empathize with NFL players as actual slaves acts to temper the horror of a slaves true experience. I’d bet the farm that a slave would trade places in a heartbeat with his NFL “brother”.
    Also, with regard to freedom of movement, how different, effectively, is the NFL from the other professional sports leagues?

    March 3rd, 2013 3:34 pm

  10. Dennis

    I am sorry but I just can’t get that worked up about this. we have much bigger problem to worry about then this. When you are investing millions of dollars into players I think any team has a right to ask any player anything they want. And the player has the right not to answer. Give me a break.

    March 4th, 2013 2:16 pm

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