It might still be the off-season but the NFL is still watching. Roger Goodell has effectively made the NFL absolutely no fun.
Over the weekend several NFL players participated in an arm wrestling event in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. The event which ran over the weekend was filmed and will air sometime in May on CBS.
"Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison, former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, Oakland Raiders punter Marquette King, Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards and New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung participated. according to a report by ESPN."
With the event now over the NFL will assess fines on the players who participated. Why? Not because they “gambled” but because the event was held in a casino. Two years ago Tony Romo was forced to shut down his sponsored “fantasy football” event because it was being held in a conference center attached to a casino.
And yet the NFL sees no issue with allowing an NFL team to take up shop in Las Vegas. The league had this to say via Yahoo Sports.
"“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president for communications and public affairs, told USA Today. “No one sought pre-approval.”"
To put this in a very simple context the NFL is doing what they do not for the integrity of the game but because they are not making any money off the events that are being scheduled. Consider that the NFL has no rules against players going to a casino. In Miami players will often head over to the Hard Rock Casino just a few miles from the Stadium. In fact the NFL had no problems with the Dolphins selling their naming rights to Hard Rock.
So the only reason the NFL would be wanting to put a stop to it is because they can’t benefit financially from it. When Tony Romo set up the fantasy football event the NFL quickly jumped in despite the fact that they promote fantasy sports on their own NFL.com and host both free and paid leagues.
This latest is simply the NFL going, again, too far too quickly.