After initially declining comment regarding the claim from Ballers executive producer Mark Wahlberg that Commissioner Roger Goodell personally called Wahlberg in an effort to kill the show, the NFL has opted to go on the record to say that Goodell did no such thing.
“Love Marky Mark (good vibrations is a classic) but this call from [Goodell] never happened,” fairly new NFL senior V.P. of communications Natalie Ravitz said on Twitter.
The tweet was directed to Deadspin’s story regarding Wahlberg’s claim that a call was made. Ravitz directed similar tweets to Bleacher Report and the Hollywood Reporter regarding their stories passing along Wahlberg’s claim.
This stream of tweets marks a sharp reversal for the league regarding Ballers. Previously, the league ignored the show, which brazenly uses team names and logos and characterizes NFL players in a manner similar to the long-defunct Playmakers show on ESPN, which the league specific tried to (and did) eliminate. Indeed, when PFT specifically asked the league office whether the call happened, the league office’s official position was that it declined comment.
Maybe in this age of social-media and Pokemon Go the best way to get the league office to go on the record is to tweet an allegation as gospel truth without asking for comment first and wait for someone to respond on Twitter. Unless, of course, the report in question is that 11 of 12 footballs confiscated from Marky Mark’s favorite team were at least 2.0 pounds under the minimum PSI required by rule.
The patently false claim still has never been corrected, by Ravitz or anyone else employed by the NFL.