As the NFL tries to reconcile its inherently conflicting and inconsistent positions on gambling (or stubbornly cling to them until the time comes to abandon them and pretend they never existed), the league may from time to time have to face questions about the perception that the right hand and left hand are flailing around independently.
According to Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today, a non-profit charity that sued the NFL last year regarding the forced relocation of a bowling event due to the league’s gambling policy wants to question Commissioner Roger Goodell under oath.
“Mr. Goodell alone is charged with interpretation and enforcement of the gambling policy that served as the basis for relocating the charity event,” the charity known as “Strikes for Kids” alleged in paperwork filed last week, via Schrotenboer.
The league undoubtedly has fought and will continue to fight the request zealously. Large businesses routinely try to shield the CEO from having to testify under oath, for a variety of reasons. For example, people who are accustomed to being the top authority in an organization don’t like to submit to anyone else’s authority. Also, high-level executives often make for very bad witnesses, attempting to impose their will and/or to engage in impromptu swordplay with someone who has crossed blades with every size, shape, and manner of combatant.
In this case, tough questions about the league’s refusal to allow players to appear at events held on property owned by a casino takes on added significance, given the league’s fairly recently decision to allow the Raiders to move to Las Vegas.
Strikes for Kids has accused the league of fraud, arguing that an NFL lawyer “misled the group and caused the charity to lose revenue.” The group also claimed that the league made a $5,000 contribution to the event as “hush money.”