The NFL decided to cancel Tony Romo's National Fantasy Football Convention (NFFC) because it was to be held in Las Vegas and they raised concerns about 'gambling' concerns.
Tony Romo made it known on ESPN radio Tuesday, June 9, that greed was at the root of the NFL’s decision to force the cancelation of the Romo-backed National Fantasy Football Convention, which was set for next month in Las Vegas, Nevada.
He made his frustration known on ESPN radio's show "The Herd" with Colin Cowherd.
“They talk about how no players or NFL personnel are to be associated [with casinos], well, I’m like, that doesn’t really make sense,” Romo said on ESPN Radio Tuesday morning. “There’s just far too many cases and it does make it sound sometimes that it’s an issue about money, which is disappointing because we were just trying to get the fans to hang out with players."
“It seems like a no-brainer to me, especially because it really wasn’t going to be something that I didn’t think was going to break the NFL’s heart money-wise. But obviously they have an issue.”
The event had more than 100 NFL players scheduled to take part in the event, stars such as Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Eddie Lacy, A.J Green, and many more.
It was to be held at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which is the basis for the league’s concern, although it's merely located next to a casino but the center isn't associated to any gambling activity.
Romo is also disappointed that the NFL waited a month before the event was to take place to voice their concerns when the event had been planned and known to the league since 8 months ago.
“It’s just a very frustrating process that went down, when all they had to do was literally call me or actual event organizers at the NFFC, and that never took shape,” Romo said. “Instead, it was about almost scaring the people attending the event. That just seems silly to me. We could have been far more mature about this. That makes you think it was just about money, and that’s disappointing.”
“It’s like when you’re in high school and you don’t get invited to the party, it makes you feel bad. If they really wanted to just be a part of it, all they had to do was call and ask. It would have been a lot easier than going about the process the way they did."
The biggest losers in all this are the fans whom already booked flights, hotel reservations, and already scheduled vacation days for the NFFC weekend.
The NFL reportedly threatened to suspend and fine players who were planning on attending the convention and in the end resulted in the event cancelation.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy had a different take on the event making a statement saying that the league didn't find out about the event until two weeks ago and responded by contacting one of the organizers as well as the NFL Players Association. And it wasn't about money, only location.
"The issue isn’t with the convention or fantasy football, but the location of the scheduled event at a casino," McCarthy told the Star-Telegram Tuesday. "We became aware of this issue two weeks ago and contacted the event organizers. We told one of the organizers about the issue concerning current players and said that they could have the event at another location place not associated with a casino. Once again, that's the issue - the location of the event. The players’ agents and union are aware of the policy. We reminded the players’ association last week of the longstanding policy re: current players and team personnel."
The league's stance on the location is in the NFL policy manual and well known by the union and agents: "Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos."
To make matters worse the NFL tweeted out the picture below of Tony Romo in what seems to be a bit of trolling on the league's behalf. The tweet was quickly deleted but the damage has been done.
The league looks to be more than bullyish in how they've gone about their business regarding Tony Romo's NFFC event. It was a great opportunity to fans to meet and speak with their favorite NFL players but it seems like those fans will have to wait another year.
NFFC organizers plan to hold the event in Los Angeles in July 2016.
Trolling tweet deleted by @nfl: pic.twitter.com/e1DwgGcClx— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) June 9, 2015