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Former Bengals Player Asked Inappropriate NFL Combine Question While Representing Falcons

The question: "So, do you like men?"

It was a former Bengals player who asked an inappropriate interview question while representing the Atlanta Falcons' coaching staff at the annual NFL Scouting Combine.

Former Bengals defensive back Marquand Manuel, who played for Cincinnati in 2002-03 among his seven NFL seasons, is a Falcons defensive backs coach. Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple, who was at the Combine in Indianapolis, said that Manuel asked him a question about sexual orientation during a Combine interview.

Qualifying questions of that nature are not permitted in any kind of job interview in the country, according to equal opportunity laws.

In the aftermath, the Falcons issued written apologies from Manuel and Atlanta head coach Dan Quinn for the inappropriate question.

Apple said in an interview with ComcastSportsNet that he was asked by Manuel, "So, do you like men?'" Apple said the question came at the beginning of the interview.

"I am really disappointed in the question that was asked by one of our coaches," Quinn told the Associated Press. "I have spoken to the coach that interviewed Eli Apple and explained to him how inappropriate and unprofessional this was. I have reiterated this to the entire coaching staff and I want to apologize to Eli for this even coming up. This is not what the Atlanta Falcons are about and it is not how we are going to conduct ourselves."

Wrote Manuel: "I take full responsibility for the inappropriate question I asked at the Combine. It was wrong and I apologized to Eli Apple..."

It was the second apology issued by an Atlanta coach following questionable behavior at the Combine. Falcons defensive line coach Bryan Cox apologized after he shoved an Arizona Cardinals scout during a dispute over access to a college player during the Combine interview process.

Cox said in a statement, "I intend to apologize to the young man for the incident. It shouldn't have happened."

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