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Ravens drawing criticism for “pushing” Obamacare

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In early September, reports emerged that the Ravens had entered into a partnership with the Maryland Health Connection to encourage participation by Maryland residents in the new federal healthcare law which has become known as Obamacare.

At the time, the Maryland Health Department told The Hill that “[t]he partnership will provide Maryland Health Connection with the opportunity to reach and engage fans while making them aware of the new opportunity they have for health coverage beginning this fall through the health insurance marketplace.”

On Tuesday, JudicialWatch.org reported that the Ravens will receive $130,000 for a multi-platform advertising arrangement on the team’s television and radio broadcasts, its official website, its newsletter, and in social media.  (The link landed on DrudgeReport.com, drawing plenty of attention to the situation.)

The Ravens are being criticized in some circles for “pushing” Obamacare.  The Ravens have explained the situation by forwarding to PFT the statement that originally was issued several weeks ago, when the issue first arose.

“We have a sponsorship/advertising agreement with the Maryland Health Connection, a Maryland state agency charged with creating a health insurance marketplace in Maryland,” the statement from the Ravens reads.  “Under its agreement with the Ravens, Maryland Health Connection will have radio ads during our game broadcasts and other Ravens-related radio and television shows, plus have exposure on Raven digital media properties and some stadium signage for two games.  The advertising package with the Maryland Heath Connection is comparable to many other sponsorship agreements the Ravens have sold, including ones with the Maryland Lottery and the Maryland National Guard, as well as corporations like Giant Foods and Verizon.”

And that’s the point that shouldn’t be overlooked here.  It’s an advertising deal struck by a for-profit entity that has the ability to project a message to a lot of people.  The powers-that-be in Maryland want citizens to be aware of the new healthcare law and, ultimately, their options and rights under it.

Regardless of what anyone thinks or believes or fears about Obamacare, the Ravens are simply doing what professional sports teams do:  Collecting money for sharing a slice of the high profile that professional sports teams enjoy.

Of course, the fact that the Ravens agreed to sell ads for a program like Obamacare invites criticism from those who oppose Obamacare.  And the Ravens could have declined the opportunity.  But in capitalistic society, how can anyone fault the Ravens for capitalizing on the ability to pocket $130,000 in advertising dollars that otherwise would have been used elsewhere?

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60 Responses to “Ravens drawing criticism for “pushing” Obamacare”
  1. slbasegame257 says: Oct 23, 2013 3:47 PM

    Obamacare is a joke just like the Ravens this season.

  2. jmattharrison says: Oct 23, 2013 3:47 PM

    Where did that 130,000 dollars coming from the government ultimately come from?

  3. primenumber19 says: Oct 23, 2013 3:48 PM

    When I watch the Simpsons and some commercial from the NRA comes on I don’t blame Homer Simpson.

  4. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Oct 23, 2013 3:49 PM

    Obamacare Stadium

  5. orangecisco says: Oct 23, 2013 3:50 PM

    Chump change. Isn’t it possible that they support the law and want to promote it’s availability?

  6. Paul Stagg says: Oct 23, 2013 3:50 PM

    Don’t forget the sweet taxpayer funded stadium deal they get, too; so they have more than just one incentive to do what the state asks them to do.

  7. steelerben says: Oct 23, 2013 3:50 PM

    They could easily have declined the ad revenue much like the Washington DC radio stations that declined ad revenue from the Oneida Nation.

    I’m not saying they should have, but they certainly could have. It isn’t like they would have trouble generating ad money from elsewhere.

  8. stillersfan says: Oct 23, 2013 3:53 PM

    It’s taxpayer money, that’s the problem. If they really want to push a government program, they could have decided to NOT take the money, which is obviously chump change to them.

  9. georgiamadman says: Oct 23, 2013 3:54 PM

    So when the Klan offers the Ravens $130,000 and they take it, you won’t criticize them because its the capitalist thing to do?

  10. footballfan01 says: Oct 23, 2013 3:54 PM

    You don’t want to be caught without health insurance when Ray Lewis stabs you.

  11. noburghfan says: Oct 23, 2013 3:55 PM

    I’d guess the $130,00 came from bake sales !

  12. wolfiereasonedlife says: Oct 23, 2013 3:56 PM

    I can’t believe the Ravens support socialism! Next thing you know the NFL teams will agree to revenue sharing and the whole league will be full of socialist! Well I just won’t stand for it! I’m outraged, outraged I tell you! Why would anyone accept advertising dollars to promote a market based private insurance system unless they are complete socialists? I must put on a second layer of tin foil and consult my talking points before commenting further.

  13. godofwine330 says: Oct 23, 2013 3:57 PM

    I can’t wait to see the comments on this. “This is preposterous! I’m appalled!”

    It’s happening, Get over it! The Ravens are taking advantage of this capitalistic society.

  14. southpaw79 says: Oct 23, 2013 3:58 PM

    I do not see the problem here. The Ravens choose to take money to promote a product, which is their right.

    People who dislike said product will have a negative view of the Ravens for supporting the product, which is also their right. The Ravens took the money, now they can take the negative reaction that comes with it.

  15. crownofthehelmet says: Oct 23, 2013 3:58 PM

    I see a great marketing opportunity for this: during the thanksgiving game, after Rice gets trucked by Timmons, the Stadium announcer says, “it’s a good thing Rice has great health insurance purchased through the Maryland Health Connection”.

  16. baltimoresnativeson says: Oct 23, 2013 3:59 PM

    You really think $130,000 means something to this organization?

    They are sending a message. This is something they support geniuses.

  17. qdog112 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:00 PM

    Goodell and the owners rejected the offer, even though millions of the people who watch every week, have no healthcare and are too stupid to realize when there’s something designed to help them.

    We already know that the shield is more important than the players or the fans’ welfare.

  18. PeterKingLovesCoqAVin says: Oct 23, 2013 4:00 PM

    This is laughable. The government wishes to use dollars earmarked for educating the public on their healthcare options. Call it Obamacare all you want – it’s a law now. There is NOTHING wrong or seedy about this. You live in Maryland, you pay taxes. Heaven forbid the state of Maryland inform you of your healthcare options through a partnership with something you actually pay attention to.

  19. steelerben says: Oct 23, 2013 4:04 PM

    In order to prevent any further controversy all ad time will now be sold to Sara Lee.

    Everybody doesn’t like something, but nobody doesn’t like Sara Lee.

  20. conormacleod says: Oct 23, 2013 4:05 PM

    Those that have a good job and good health insurance are against others getting what they already have. I’m shocked.

  21. scaredhitless says: Oct 23, 2013 4:05 PM

    Paul Stagg says:
    Oct 23, 2013 3:50 PM
    Don’t forget the sweet taxpayer funded stadium deal they get, too; so they have more than just one incentive to do what the state asks them to do.
    ————————————————-

    It’s Medieval. We pay for the kingdoms and they allow us the right to visit (for a fee).

  22. hawkforlife says: Oct 23, 2013 4:06 PM

    @PeterKingLovesCoqAVin

    Excellent post. It is the law, like it or not. Now if we could get the fed website to work so people could get even more info, that would be helpful.

  23. zeke2517 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:06 PM

    How dare they promote awareness for something that can help millions of our fellow Americans.

  24. ibreathefootball says: Oct 23, 2013 4:06 PM

    This Obama guy is such an idiot for trying to have affordable health care for citizens. Hey, I guess he could be really smart and stop trying to help people, and watch them all die in agonizing pain while their families can only watch & suffer.

  25. reed20fence says: Oct 23, 2013 4:09 PM

    crownofthehelmet says:

    Oct 23, 2013 3:58 PM

    I see a great marketing opportunity for this: during the thanksgiving game, after Rice gets trucked by Timmons, the Stadium announcer says, “it’s a good thing Rice has great health insurance purchased through the Maryland Health Connection”.

    LOL yeah or when Ngata breaks Ben’s nose again on natiinal tv they can say “hey, it’s a good thing you don’t have to pay for the ER visits of losers like this anymore.”

  26. indytom87 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:10 PM

    If my math is correct, $130,000 equates to $10,000 for the roughly 13 people in Maryland that have signed up.

  27. jlinatl says: Oct 23, 2013 4:10 PM

    You are correct that as a capitalistic venture they have every right to accept the money for paid advertisements.

    But business entities routinely refuse to partner with other ventures if they feel the partnership does not align with their philosophy or that it could negatively reflect upon their brand as perceived by the consumer.

    Because this is a devisive issue, I’m not sure it was a good idea. It just doesn’t seem like a wise idea to stoke negative passion within your own customer base. To me, it has nothing to do with the issue, I just don’t think it was a good business decision. I’m guessing they have not exhausted all other avenues.

  28. blackfootkiller says: Oct 23, 2013 4:10 PM

    Obamacare will become yet another failed social program, that will end up costing everyone way more than they said…
    It will become rife with fraud, and the services rendered will be from 3rd world doctors…
    Look what all the other welfare has cost us since Obama took over…
    ‘U.S. Spent $3.7 Trillion on Welfare Over Last 5 Years’
    If you think it will get better, you may need to use your Obamacare to get your head examined!

  29. exnavysub says: Oct 23, 2013 4:15 PM

    Its still tax payer dollars. With the debt and deficits we have, sorry but the last thing our money should be going to is promoting Obamacare, which is a friggin disaster anyways. Its a waste of money.

    And why now? No one can sign up for it!!!!!! And those that do, half of them are appalled by the prices.

    Im more upset at tax dollars being used for this than anything else. As if the government doesnt waste enough money.

    Just wait until Obamacare is REALLY a disaster. Theyll dump hundreds of millions more into it.

  30. wearewhowethoughtwewere says: Oct 23, 2013 4:18 PM

    Obamacare will be another failed social services program, just like the failed discontinued services of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid….

    Oh, wait a second….

  31. MyTeamsAllStink says: Oct 23, 2013 4:19 PM

    Remember kids.Its perfectly ok to have an opinion just as long as everyone else shares the same one.

    Murica

  32. thegenoatkinsdiet says: Oct 23, 2013 4:21 PM

    So if the Ravens took $130K from the government to educate us that we still have a constitutional right to own a gun, people on the other side would shrug their shoulders and say “That’s capitalism at work.” Right?

  33. gg206 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:21 PM

    Coulda sworn that the last 5 years were part of the economic meltdown and it’s aftermath. Hence the large amount of welfare ( loosely termed) spending..

  34. matt14gg says: Oct 23, 2013 4:21 PM

    Obamacare is ridiculous and probably unconstitutional, but who the hell cares if the Ravens are promoting it? In Massachusetts the Patriots promote Jordan’s Furniture. If I hate sofas and love seats it doesn’t mean the Patriots shouldn’t promote them.

  35. barrywhererufrom says: Oct 23, 2013 4:23 PM

    They are fools to be a part of this failed program. Layoffs are occurring and insurance coverage are either being dropped or raised because of Obamacare. It really is another lose lose situation for the Ravens. Let’s be a part of this loser big govt program and put our support behind it. The public doesn’t want it. I don’t see why they would put their support behind this. Individuals without insurance have options called medicare and medicaid. Why didn’t they support those programs? I really hope that 130k makes up for all the bad publicity..

  36. slick1ru2 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:23 PM

    The rest of the world looks at the US and simply laughs. Of course they already have things like socialized medicine and no ridiculous debt ceiling limits that allow nut jobs to hold the country hostage.

  37. granadafan says: Oct 23, 2013 4:24 PM

    Yeah because having no healthcare is better than being a sheep to CPAC.

  38. mpo601eaglesfan says: Oct 23, 2013 4:25 PM

    I’m so dissappointed at the Ravens for agreeing to support this unaffordable care act. Politics and football should not mix. worst piece of legislation ever crafted and an NFL team is actually supporting it. SMH

  39. janvanflac says: Oct 23, 2013 4:25 PM

    a friend in NY just switched from his private insurance to an an ACA exchange, his premium went down $300/month. For one person. My insurance company refunded me $300 for violating the 80/20 rule. I already get my insurance through a trade association but will look into Obamacare. so unless you’re happy with your private insurance spending less than 80% on medical care (20% skimmed off the top is bad enough) don’t complain about OCare. Despite some problems with the website, Obamacare works…..it’s not “failed”, it’s not even “socialist”.
    Good for the Ravens, this just gives me more reason to like them.

  40. kcflake says: Oct 23, 2013 4:26 PM

    The Ravens are a Real Classy Bunch. Shilling for Obamacare.

  41. getyourownname says: Oct 23, 2013 4:27 PM

    So when a football radio broadcast accepts advertising from a state lottery agency, they are endorsing gambling?

  42. coachjohnharbaugh says: Oct 23, 2013 4:35 PM

    we are the champions of the free world

    bow down & kiss my feet

  43. thestrategyexpert says: Oct 23, 2013 4:36 PM

    Well this is a special case and it’s not a regular money deal. This is a special deal having to do with the highest ranking member of US politics. And if that person is not respectable or responsible in how they represent their office and you do business with them, then you are opening the door to being judged very harshly by those that judge the President harshly.

    Curious choice, but if you strongly support the President and that’s what you want your team to side with then more power to you. Sounds like the owner of the Ravens probably likes Obama and thinks he’s doing a great job, so from his point of view it sounds like he is fine with that. Being known as pro-Obama is something he probably considers a respectable honor, so yeah why not get paid to support a message you really believe in.

  44. theravenlives2 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:39 PM

    The rest of the world looks at the US and simply laughs. Of course they already have things like socialized medicine and no ridiculous debt ceiling limits that allow nut jobs to hold the country hostage.

    ==============================

    Hey, you’re right! Let’s copy the lead of countrirs like Greece, Ireland, and Spain! Great idea! If you don’t know what that means, maybe you need to crack open a real newspaper as opposed to hanging out on the Huffington Post.

  45. overratedsteelerhater says: Oct 23, 2013 4:42 PM

    we need to keep all this political crap out of football season. changing names, donating money.who cares ,wait till seasons over!!!

  46. abqpacker says: Oct 23, 2013 4:43 PM

    Like it or not, it is the law. No different really than promoting seat belt laws. If someone really hates Obamacare (I’ll use term since our president said he doesn’t mind it being called that) they can choose to not support the Ravens.

  47. davikes says: Oct 23, 2013 4:43 PM

    Does anyone else find it ironic that the government is using players who get the best fully covered PRIVATE healthcare in the world to promote public healthcare? The players get instant access to the absolute best specialists, and almost instant access to diagnostic tools like MRI’s. Try that with Obamacare.

  48. azarkhan says: Oct 23, 2013 4:49 PM

    ibreathefootball says: his Obama guy is such an idiot for trying to have affordable health care for citizens.

    He’s an idiot for bankrupting America with a massive new entitlement program in the middle of a recession which his policies, including Obamacare, have prolonged. 4 out of 5 jobs created this year have been part time with little or no benefits, thanks to Obamacare. The national debt is $17 Trillion and counting, $9 Trillion of which has been added during Obama’s 5 years in office. Educate yourself.

  49. ravensterps says: Oct 23, 2013 4:49 PM

    Obamacare is the law whether people like it or not. Shouldn’t we be educated about it? Honestly.

    Even if you oppose the law, the proper course of action is not, “let’s keep everyone in the dark so no one knows what the law does and let’s hope it fails due to the public’s ignorance.”

  50. Deb says: Oct 23, 2013 4:50 PM

    Oh good grief. This isn’t even about the feds. The Maryland Health Department has an advertising budget to inform the public about the state role in the healthcare exchanges. They chose to spend $130,000 of that budget promoting the program during Ravens’ games because they already have an advertising relationship with the football team.

    People sure can make mountains out of molehills.

  51. theravenlives2 says: Oct 23, 2013 4:52 PM

    They could easily have declined the ad revenue much like the Washington DC radio stations that declined ad revenue from the Oneida Nation.

    I’m not saying they should have, but they certainly could have. It isn’t like they would have trouble generating ad money from elsewhere.

    ================================

    Ok, Steeler fan, hold on for a minute. The Ravens accepting this advertising is EXACTLY the same as the DC Radio Stations not accepting the Oneida Indian’s money. Lemme explain. First, in the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I am a Ravens Season Ticketholder, a Maryland resident, and an opponent of Obamacare.

    The radio stations didn’t accept the money from the “Indians” because they know where their bread is buttered. They know that, had they accepted that money, Snyder would deny them ad revenue, tickets, and access to players. They took the easy way out and said NO.

    What the Ravens are doing is essentially the same thing. Maryland is a heavily democratic state (though it should be pointed out that the Ravens owner is a republican), and -trust me – the powers that be will make it very hard on the team if they don’t go along. The Ravens took the easy way out and said YES.

    Do I like it? No. Do I support Obamacare? No. Do I understand why they made the deal? Absolutely I do.

  52. hendeeze says: Oct 23, 2013 6:05 PM

    Make people get car insurance nobody bats an eye, Make everyone get health insurance everyone goes nuts…

  53. mrcogburn says: Oct 23, 2013 8:00 PM

    This is no surprise, really. I suspect the majority of DC’s federal work force lives in Maryland, so the Ravens have no risk here. They are just pandering to the people who have already drank the Koolaid.

  54. bluebongzilla says: Oct 23, 2013 8:15 PM

    “The rest of the world looks at the US and simply laughs. Of course they already have things like socialized medicine and no ridiculous debt ceiling limits that allow nut jobs to hold the country hostage.”

    So your solution to out-of-control debt is to get more credit cards? If you ran your house the way this country is run you’d be in prison.

  55. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 23, 2013 8:22 PM

    How can we fault them for taking the money?

    It’s called principles and sticking to them. Not being bought for something you don’t really believe in.

  56. foosball1984 says: Oct 23, 2013 8:59 PM

    I always knew there was a reason I disliked the ravens lol.

  57. isuperknowni says: Oct 23, 2013 9:18 PM

    We’re all worried about the deficit, but not many where too concerned when Cheney totally blew a massive surplus. I’m so proud of the Ravens.

  58. isuperknowni says: Oct 23, 2013 9:21 PM

    Maybe try watching something else besides fixed noise

  59. hines86for6 says: Oct 24, 2013 12:01 AM

    Because that payout is subsidized by the taxpayer. that’s why.

  60. msk011375 says: Oct 24, 2013 6:50 PM

    GO RAVENS!! Ohh oh OH-OH oh ohh ohh.

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