During the NFL Combine, there were reports that prospects were asked inappropriate questions pertaining to their sexual orientation. To be sure, it was a PR nightmare for the league, and it rose many questions about what types of questions are appropriate for scouts to ask.
Now, the NFL has found a way to sidestep the issue, saying that the questions were "chatter that was inappropriate," but the questions weren't part of the actual interview process according to Judy Battista of the New York Times.
In essence, the assertion by the NFL that inappropriate questions asked by scouts were not part of the actual interview process is a measure to protect themselves from wrongful hiring lawsuits down the road.
The simple fact of the matter is that the NFL Combine is a huge interview process, and it's impossible to dismiss some questions asked as not part of the interview process. Whether it's "on the record" or "off the record," the response to those questions can still influence scouts one way or the other.
The NFL, in trying to ignore the problem altogether, seems to have made a poor decision in compiling their defense. While saying inappropriate questions weren't part of the interview process may shield them in the legal realm, it compromises their credibility in the public eye, and you could argue that the NFL's credibility is more valuable than a lawsuit.