clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

NFL fining players at a Las Vegas arm wrestling charity tournament is dumb

New, comments

The NFL is “investigating” players involved.

New England Patriots SS Patrick Chung has to be considered the bad boy of the secondary because he’s violated the NFL’s gambling policy and is “subject to discipline,” per reports by USA Today and ESPN.

So what did Chung do? Did he wager on a game? Did he participate in some insider action? Did he move an NFL franchise to Las Vegas, the capital of gambling?

No, Chung participated in an armwrestling competition with “nearly three dozen NFL players” that would donate $50,000 to charity. The venue for the event was at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino and “the NFL’s gambling policy...prohibits players from appearing at casinos as part of promotional events.”

“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 Sports. “No one sought pre-approval.”

Alan Brickman, the entertainment company hosting the event, claims that he did work with the NFL and that he followed provided guidelines “that included showing no images...of any gambling-related activities or any alcohol.”

The league has had to put their gambling policies under a microscope this past year as the Raiders have moved from Oakland to Las Vegas and into the heart of America’s gambling world.

The NFL has picked up $750 million in public funds to create their stadium in Las Vegas, using taxpayer money that absolutely is linked to gambling, after courting casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Factor in the real purpose of the injury report to limit inside information from gambling, along with the rise of fantasy football and daily fantasy sports and it’s clear that “gambling” and other “games of skill” have played a major role in the NFL’s growth in recent years- and let’s see if we can ever get through a football broadcast with a commercial related to alcohol.

Chung and the other players are possibly subject to a fine for participating in a charity event. This is similar to fining players for wearing different color socks that support awareness for other causes during the month of October, when the NFL markets pink merchandise for breast cancer awareness.

It’s a tone deaf punishment that serves no possible benefit for anyone involved.

This past season, the NFL changed their stance on wearing only pink in October and moving forward teams will be able to support charities and causes of their own selection. The league can change for the better and it’s important to call them out for ridiculous rules whenever we get the chance.

With a franchise set to open up in Las Vegas, it’s about time the league updated its archaic gambling policy. Players should be able to host charity events at casinos. The fact they cannot is dumb and the rule needs to change.

Edit: Dumb. Dumb. Dumb.