Last year, after a rash of helmet-to-helmet hits prompted the NFL to pay closer attention to the issue via more aggressive rules enforcement, the NFL also was selling photos of some of the helmet-to-helmet hits. Once made aware of the situation, the NFL asked the third party responsible for managing the league’s photo store to remove the images.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tells PFT that the procedure for selling AP photos will be changed to prevent similar situations in the future. “It was a mistake and taken down Wednesday as soon as it was discovered,” Aiello said regarding the image of a dazed McCoy sitting on the field after being hit by James Harrison, and before inexplicably being cleared to return to the game after missing only two plays.
“The images were posted live automatically overnight without being reviewed by the vendor,” Aiello said. “To make sure it doesn’t happen again, Replay Photos is turning off the automated AP Images feed for NFL and team site photo stores. All images will be reviewed and will have to be manually pushed to be posted live.”
It’s the smart approach. But not so smart that it should have required a couple of incidents like this to prompt the powers-that-be to realize that an automatic feed of AP photos to the photo store could result in the sale of some photos that the league would otherwise not want to sell.