Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo responded Tuesday to the NFL’s communication with the NFLPA regarding the National Fantasy Football Convention that Romo helped organize and was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas this summer.
The NFL contacted the union to remind them that players “may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances at or in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos.” According to a report from Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, the league also reportedly contacted parents of players scheduled to take part to tell them of the ban. The event, which has been postponed, was scheduled to take place at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which does not have on-site gambling although Sands is in the gambling business.
Romo called the league’s letter a “scare tactic” and said the league could have acted sooner to express misgivings about the location of the event, but that they never reached out to him or the organizers about that problem. Romo also suggested that the league and teams only have a problem with associations with gambling when they aren’t getting a cut of the proceeds, as they will with a recently announced sponsorship agreement between MGM Grand and the Lions.
“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 with Colin Cowherd. “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.”
The NFL is also in the fantasy football business despite the fact that the prospect of winning cash in addition to league bragging rights is a big part of the allure of participating in the first place. The league doesn’t object to that kind of gambling because fantasy football has become a major factor in the interest level in actual football and a major revenue generator in its own right, something Romo was taking advantage of and that makes it hard not to draw a similar conclusion to the one that the Cowboys quarterback did about the league’s objection to the event.