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NFL Investigating 30 Current and Former Players Who Took Part in Vegas Arm Wrestling Competition
The NFL is investigating a Las Vegas arm wrestling competition that featured over 30 current and former players, including Steelers linebacker James Harrison and retired (for now) running back Marshawn Lynch. Specifically, they are trying to asses whether participating players violated the league’s gambling policies.
NFL players are strictly forbidden from making promotional appearances of any kind at casinos and other gambling-related establishments, even if they have nothing to do with gambling.
The event in question, the Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship, took place at the MGM Grand hotel and casino from April 5-9 and is scheduled to air on CBS on May 27 and 28. According to the event website, portions of the prize money from both the team and individual competitions will be donated to charities of the players’ choice. However, the NFL doesn’t care about that.
“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” NFL vice president of communications Joe Lockhart told USA Today Sports. “No one sought pre-approval.”
According to USA Today, in addition to Harrison and Lynch the event featured Miami Dolphins receiver Kenny Stills, San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, and Raiders punter Marquette King, among others.
This is not the first time the NFL—a league that just voted to move a franchise to Las Vegas—has taken issue with an event held at a Las Vegas casino. In 2015 they forced Tony Romo‘s fantasy football company to cancel a convention scheduled to be held at the Venetian. The company in turn sued the NFL, but the case was eventually dismissed.
If the NFL finds that the players who took part in the tournament did violate their gambling policy, they would likely be looking at some pretty serious fines.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]