Mercifully, the NFL Draft's first round happens tomorrow evening in Chicago. Once it's over, football coverage can finally return to rote season previews until the good stuff drops in late-summer, right before the season starts.
Until then, football fans have to deal with what passes for draft coverage these days: anonymous pro scouts finding minute reasons for why a player has an "upside" or a "downside." The majority of this analysis is forgettable; the only time it really makes news is when, say, someone decides to grill a player about his sexual preference, like when an Atlanta Falcons coach asked former Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple if he "likes men."
Poor Apple. Not only did he have to suffer the indignity of that question, but now he has an anonymous scout (of course he's anonymous) questioning his culinary abilities. Here's what one knucklehead had to tell the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about Apple's prospects: "I worry about him because of off-the-field issues. The kid has no life skills. At all. Can't cook. Just a baby. He's not first round for me. He scares me to death."
Apple's mother Annie wasn't having the obviously absurd analysis.
Distressingly, this seems to be what passes for high-level vetting among NFL athletes. At best, this sort of flippant characterization is lazy; at its worst, it's veiled racism towards predominantly black athletes. And for those claiming the race card's being played in this situation, it's worth asking: Why would cooking ability ever have an affect on whether or not Apple can shut down an elite NFL wide receiver?
[via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, h/t SI.com]