NFL Owners Offended: League Executive Compares Scouting Combine to a ‘Slave Auction’

After NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent likened the NFL scouting combine to a “slave auction” at this week’s NFL league meetings, some team owners took offense to the comparison.

According to CBS Sports, this past Wednesday Vincent spoke to the league’s ownership, informing them that there are proposed changes to the way things are done within the scouting combine, and compared the current process to a “slave auction.”

He reportedly expressed that the alterations would involve a less tedious medical evaluation process, while providing a closer look at the way teams question the athletes trying to play their way into the NFL.

There has been talk about the way the combine and other pre-draft evaluations have been done and some consider the way they obtain information to be dehumanizing to the players.

“We just feel like the overall experience, talking to the players, we can be better in that particular aspect,” Vincent pointed out to the media.

“So there was, I would say, a good discussion around what that looks like, where we could be, keeping in mind that the combine is the player’s first experience with the National Football League, and in that experience, there has to be dignity.

“It’s a great opportunity for the young men, but there has to be some form of dignity and level of dignity and respect as they go through that process. That was the overall theme around our combine discussion.”

Reportedly, the team owners who spoke out about Vincent’s comments were Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II, and Buffalo Bills owner Terry Pegula.

In the past, many questionable inquiries have been asked of prospective players, which have been brought to the media’s attention in recent years. Team owners and executives are known to ask the players questions that are unorthodox, at best. Some stated that some of the questions would be illegal in a job interview.

In 2016, cornerback Eli Apple stated that his sexuality was questioned. Former NFL defensive end Obum Gwacham said back in 2015 that a team asked him when he lost his virginity. As far back as 2010, then-Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute.