Posts Tagged ‘NFL’

The NFL nearly had a super public relations crisis on its hands when Arizona tried to pass SB 1062, which would’ve let restaurants refuse to serve people based on sexual or religious preferences. The bill was vetoed at the last minute and the NFL didn’t have to look for other location options for Super Bowl XLIX.

Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald is happy about that. But not just because it keeps the Super Bowl in Arizona. He told Tom Pelissero of USA Today on Saturday that he doesn’t believe laws like that “have any place in our society.”

“I didn’t think there was any chance it was going to go through,” Fitzgerald said. “I had a strong feeling it would’ve been vetoed. It’s good that it was, obviously. With the Super Bowl coming or any (event) like that, I think it just doesn’t have any place in our society. I’m happy that it’s behind us now.”

Had the law passed, the NFL was in a precipitous position. The Super Bowl would’ve been less than a year away, but Phoenix simply wasn’t an acceptable location with that law in place. Particularly while preparing to welcome Michael Sam, likely to be the first openly-gay player in NFL history, into the league.

Read more here.

Call it what you want — anti-gay or religious rights — but if Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signs a controversial bill, you might not be calling Arizona the home of the 2015 Super Bowl.

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, S.B. 1062, is the current controversy du jour out of Arizona, and the National Football League is with the opposition.

“Our policies emphasize tolerance and inclusiveness and prohibit discrimination based on age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation or any other improper standard,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today. “We are following the issue in Arizona and will continue to do so should the bill be signed into law, but will decline further comment at this time.”

The Arizona Super Bowl Host committee released a statement saying it disagreed with the bill and its impact on Arizona’s economy.

“On that matter we have heard loud and clear from our various stakeholders that adoption of this legislation would not only run contrary to that goal but deal a significant blow to the state’s economic growth potential,” a committee spokesperson said. “We do not support this legislation.”

Arizona is currently slated to host the 2015 Super Bowl at Glendale’s University of Phoenix Stadium.

Opponents of the bill contend that it will allow Arizona businesses to refuse service to homosexual customers.

But, as with most bills in Congress, the attack ads have little to do with the actual legislation.

Read more here.

Jonathan Martin spent nearly seven hours going into “great detail” with the NFL counsel investigating his claims of his harassment in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. What came up in their talks, he isn’t saying for now.

He would say this: He still wants to play in the NFL.

Martin — in town because the league is trying to gather information about the bullying he says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito — arrived at the Manhattan office building of special investigator Ted Wells on Friday morning, and didn’t emerge until shortly after sunset. Mobbed by media, he stood in the camera lights and read a statement.

“Although I went into great detail with Mr. Ted Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time,” Martin said. “This is the right way to handle the situation.

“Beyond that, I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League.”

After that, he and attorney David Cornwell went back into the building, later leaving via a side exit.

Incognito has acknowledged leaving a voicemail for Martin in April in which he used a racial slur, threatened to kill his teammate and threatened to slap Martin’s mother. Incognito has said he regrets the racist and profane language, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room “brotherhood,” not bullying.

Read more here.

In recent weeks Redskins owner Dan Snyder has seemed to warm up to the idea of changing the Redskins name. So the report that a wealthy neighbor of his applied for a patent to lock down the name Washington Bravehearts is more than a little spicy.

According to TMZ, Aris Mardirossian, “a wealthy patent investor” who lives “a few doors down” from Dan Snyder, registered the name “WASHINGTON BRAVEHEARTS” on Oct. 17.

CBSSports.com has also learned Mardirossian registered the domain WashingtonBravehearts.com on October 18.

The patent license, per TMZ, is for “entertainment in the nature of football games.”

TMZ also obtained the LLC filings (.PDF) for Washington Brave Hearts, LLC.

Read more here.

Rush Limbaugh’s other passion besides broadcasting is football, and now he is proposing the NFL create a new day of observance for its players.

Since so many professional football players have numerous, often neglected children by various “baby mamas,” which Limbaugh described as “the casual, flippant, detestable and common buzz-phrase for absentee, wham-bam fatherhood,” he joked that the NFL needs to launch a new campaign: “Fatherhood Awareness Month.”

Instead of wearing the usual colored ribbons, he suggested, players could wear another symbol, like “a broken condom” or “child support checks.”

Limbaugh added, “We could use bounced child support checks if we run out of child support checks. There might be more of those (free audio).”

During his show, Limbaugh also exploded on the Republican Party after opposition to Obamacare crumbled.

“I really think some of this is oriented toward the Republicans actually seeking to get rid of their conservative base,” Rush said to his audience. “And even if it takes 15 years in the wilderness to rebuild a new base of people who don’t embarrass them, and people who are of the right temperament, maybe that’s what they’re willing to do.”

Read more here.

Despite being encouraged by the federal government to help promote President Barack Obama’s health care law, an NFL spokesman on Friday said the league has “no plans” to work with the White House regarding the implementation of “Obamacare.”

The Department of Health and Human Services has reportedly reached out to the NFL — as well as the NBA and MLB — to help pitch the health care overhaul to its audience, particularly younger Americans. Earlier this week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the NFL and a “variety of sports affiliates” had been “enthusiastically engaged” with the administration regarding the idea.

On Friday, Brian McCarthy, vice president of communications at the NFL, said in an email that the league has responded to letters from members of Congress.

“We currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s) implementation,” McCarthy wrote.

Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) recently warned the NFL that teaming up with the Obama administration to help promote Obamacare would “risk damaging” its nonpartisan reputation.

Read more here.

Investigators searched the North Attleborough home of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez today following the killing of a man police call an “associate” of Hernandez, ABC News has learned.

Massachusetts State Police and prosecutors arrived at Hernandez’s $1.3 million, 5,600-square foot home, which is outfitted with a home gym and a swimming pool, just before 5 p.m. and spent hours with him inside the mansion.

Two Hernandez friends tried to leave house at the time of the search, but they were stopped by a state police car at the end of driveway. Crime scene investigators later searched the car the men tried to leave in.

During the search, Hernandez received a hand-delivered package from the prominent law firm Ropes and Gray around 7:30 p.m., with the deliveryman telling reporters swarming the sidewalk outside that it was addressed to “Mr. Hernandez himself.”

Read more here.

CNN.com reporter Moni Basu took an opportunity last week to confront and challenge Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins quarterback who had tweeted about “the tyranny of political correctness,” with a set of race-related questions.

“Is the R-word is as offensive as the N-Word?,” Basu first tweeted to Griffin.

Read more here.

Amid pressure to change the nickname of his team, Washington Redskins star quarterback Robert Griffin III has ignited a digital firestorm from the left by pushing back against the “tyranny of political correctness.”

In a Twitter message, he declared: “In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.”

The controversy arose as Washington, D.C., Council member David Grosso prepared to introduce a non-binding resolution calling on the city’s beloved team to change its “derogatory, racist name.”

Griffin followed his original tweet a short time later with a definition of tyranny, calling it a “condition imposed by some outside agency or force,” such as “living under the tyranny of the clock” or “political correctness.”

Twitter followers erupted:

“Loyalty to local racist named team fading … fading,” wrote Bryan Weaver.
Josh Wheeler said: “Tyranny? Do we share a common reality? Get real. RT.”
@lalndonmccool wrote, “God you make it so easy to hate you”
Said Aaron Nagler: “Oh shut up. RT.”

But Griffin also received considerable support: “As a Seahawks fan, I gained a lot of respect for @RGIII today,” said one in the conversation.

Continuing the provocative Twitter dialogue, Griffin added: “If we speak … we say it the wrong way If we do not speak we are cowards.”

Read more here.