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New York attorney general announces new efforts in place with NFL to fight anti-gay bias

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a youth

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a youth football clinic in New York. (April 24, 2013) Credit: AP

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman Wednesday announced new efforts are in place with the NFL to make sure that players currently in the league and those about to enter the NFL in this week's draft are protected from discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he met with Schneiderman to discuss the situation last week, and that the attorney general had agreed with him that the NFL's policies are sending the right message to both players and teams. Goodell said those policies were reiterated to the clubs in a memo sent last month, and the league will send a follow-up communication in the coming days.

"We've always had policies that support that, and we shared that with the attorney general just last week," Goodell said Wednesday. "They felt that we were doing the right things. That's essentially what they're saying, that the NFL is doing the right things . . . This is something that is very important to us and we have the right policies in place to support it."

The league recently came under scrutiny after Colorado tight end Nick Kasa said during a radio interview that he was asked about his sexual orientation during an interview at the scouting combine in Indianapolis in February.

Kasa did not identify the team or teams involved in the questioning, but he told a Denver radio station that he was asked, "Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls? Those kinds of things, and you know it was just kind of weird," he said. "But they would ask you with a straight face, and it's a pretty weird experience altogether."

Earlier this month, the NHL and its players' union partnered with the You Can Play Project, an advocacy group that fights homophobia in sports. Major League Baseball and the NBA also have guidelines against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

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