New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week is calling on the NFL to institute a written policy banning bias based on sexual orientation.
Schneiderman made the call in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, pointing out that New York state has outlawed discrimination based on sexual orientation. He also observed that at least 24 of the NFL's 32 teams are located in states with employment non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation.
Schneiderman's letter follows news reports that NFL scouts in advance of this spring's draft were asking prospective players about their sexual orientation and sexual interests. The past season also found a lot of players taking sides, off the field, on marriage equality.
Schneiderman said New York specifically prohibits employers from asking employees or job candidates about their sexual orientation.
"From the Scouting Combine to the playing fields, everyone deserves equal protection under the law and the right to a fair workplace," Schneiderman said. "In New York state, we have no tolerance for discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or perceived sexual orientation. Employment discrimination is ethically wrong and illegal no matter who the employer is. I hope we can work together with the National Football League to send a powerful message that employment discrimination will not be tolerated in any form."
In addition to the anti-discrimination laws in states, many major cities that are home to NFL teams bar discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Also, the NFL's collective bargaining agreement executed in 2011 states that "there will be no discrimination in any form against any player by the management council, any club or by the NFLPA because of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or activity or lack of activity on behalf of the NFLPA."