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Irving, Texas — Several NFL team owners took umbrage at league meetings Wednesday when NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent referred to the NFL’s scouting coalition as a “slave auction.”

Vincent spoke with ownership Wednesday morning, announcing changes to the combine that include a less arduous medical evaluation process and a closer look at the questions teams ask of draft prospects. The combine and other pre-draft evaluations have been criticized for what some believe is an inhumane access to information about players.

“We feel like it’s our overall experience talking to the players,” Vincent told the media on the day. .

“It’s a great opportunity for young people, but when you go through that process there has to be a certain level of respect and honor and respect. That was the whole theme around the coalition. [discussion.]”

Sources at the ownership meeting revealed details that included a reference to a slave auction that Vincent spoke about among team owners. Vincent’s comments at the meeting prompted an immediate response from Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, who stood up and took offense, sources said. Blank, who has a strong record on diversity and inclusion during his two decades in the NFL, bristled at the idea that he was participating in or helping to promote a phenomenon that could be considered racist.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones followed the empty microphone. According to sources, Jones talked about the “privilege” of playing in the NFL. He noted how there are thousands of college football players, how only about 300 are invited to the combine, and how few are drafted.

Steelers owner Art Rooney II followed suit and indicated that teams need the necessary information at the combine to make an informed decision, according to sources. Rooney is the chairman of the NFL’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee He brought the diversity of the coach and the executive program to these meetingsHe refused to comment on the record about the meeting.

Bills owner Terry Pegula then took to the microphone to make a point that confused many in the room. According to sources, Pegula didn’t accept the Combiner scale (which won’t be televised), but it looks like he’s finally playing the Devil’s Advocate role that people want to see.

He then tried to combine football with women’s tennis with his daughter Jessica Sport, who is ranked 3rd in the world. Bill’s wife appeared to lament the sometimes revealing outfits that female tennis players are encouraged to wear. Some sources have expressed the opinion that all sports have a level of exploitation. Another source simply called them “uncoupled”. Pegula’s confusing comments soon ended the conversation.

The discussion was not entirely new, as the pairing process had been discussed and changed over time. But the tone of this conversation was interesting. Vincent, a former Pro Bowler, has been with the NFL as a football operations leader since 2014, and has spoken out on the topics of kneeling during the national anthem and serving as a coaching staff. “Bridge Builder” interview with The Root from the league office.

In recent years, the entire pre-renovation process has been overhauled, so Vincent took on the topic of pairing. The league no longer offers the Wonderlic Test, a fitness test that has been criticized for its bias and relevance. Prior to that, the Senior Bowl and Shrine Bowl eliminated public measurements and scales.

The combine is critical to NFL teams for medical information and player interviews. CBS Sports reported two weeks ago that the league has revised the schedule for next year’s combine, in consultation with the players and their representatives, moving forward.

“The biggest thing the players have picked up over time is, ‘I’m in, that’s why I got kicked out and I have to go and do more medical tests.’ And I sat in the hospital and waited four or so. About five hours on the MRI machine. I have to have a lot of meetings about the same injury,” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday. “For us, it’s really about trying to improve that experience. And they talk about lack of sleep because they go in at 1 in the morning and come back at 5, then they have to perform on the field. And it’s a very important part for them because they want to perform at a high level.

“I think that’s why it all goes to the players who come in, we want to give them a better fit and experience. And make sure the clubs get that information clearly, but they have to get that. A fair and professional way.”

The medical examination can take a whole day for the players. They go in groups throughout the day to different examination rooms and hospitals, being examined by doctors in large groups. Hundreds of player scans and MRIs are taken by doctors in a week.

The league doesn’t seem to get all the scans, tweaks and essentials. Chief Medical Officer Allen Sills has already completed a post-op MRI on a college player who may have suffered a knee injury months before the combine. Sills said doctors could get that MRI instead of having the player get another one in Indianapolis.

The combined teams are also known for the questions they ask their prospects. If you’re weird and weird in a job interview, you’re going to be inappropriate and technically illegal. Cornerback Eli Apple asked him in 2016 if a team likes men. Former NFL defensive end Obum Gwacham said in 2015. A group asked him when he lost his virginity. Perhaps the most infamous interview question came in 2010 when then-Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute. Ireland later apologized to Bryant.

Sources say Vincent relayed a story during an ownership meeting about an unnamed black player being asked to brag by an unnamed team during an interview. It wasn’t clear if the player had a music or rap background, but the implication — at least — was that a white player wouldn’t have been asked that question.

“When we talk [players] We ask Vincent the question during his draft experience: Is there anything we should do if we make contact with the National Football League for the first time? And those people are open and sometimes share things with you and scratch your head. You are often shy. And you could say these are things we can fix, things we can fix to make the overall Hope experience better.



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