Bryant was asked in a pre-draft visit, by Miami Dolphins' general manager Ireland, if his mother was a prostitute. Since then, the question has been the source of debate and controversy. And while Smith won't advocate a swift slap across Ireland's face--as did Mike Ditka--his tones made it clear that he, like just about everyone else, thinks that the Miami GM crossed a line.
"We need to make sure the men of this league are treated as businessmen,'' Smith said in the statement. "During interviews, our players and prospective players should never be subjected to discrimination or degradation stemming from the biases or misconceptions held by team personnel.
"NFL teams cannot have the free reign to ask questions during the interview process which can be categorized as stereotyping or which may bring a personal insult to any player as a man.
"For the past year, active, former and incoming players have heard me speak about the expectations we have of them as members of this union, their teams, communities and families. It is equally true that the same kind of respect is demanded of their employers."
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