NFL suspends Ian Rapoport two weeks

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The NFL usually suspends players. Sometimes, it suspends employees of the NFL’s in-house media conglomerate. Recently, NFL Network suspended its top information gatherer/provider/reciter.

Ian Rapoport issued a statement to PFT on Friday night explaining that he’ll be off the air until October 22 because “I posted something to my social channels without clearance from NFL Network, which went against its guidelines.”

The statement, tweeted shortly thereafter by Rapoport, created plenty of questions and speculation regarding the contents of the post. The truth is much more innocuous, and it makes the league seem unreasonable for its decision to suspend Rapoport for two weeks, presumably without pay.

Per multiple reports, which PFT has confirmed, Rapoport posted a commercial for Manscaped, a device intended to groom the male groin, on Instagram. Rapoport’s colleague, Jane Slater, then posted it on Twitter. Within a day, the video had disappeared; it quickly became clear that the deletion related to the league’s reaction.

The content of the ad, delivered from Rapoport’s usual in-home broadcast position for NFL Network, contained the usual puns and campy content that makes indirect and direct reference to the purpose of the product. But the league can’t credibly wag a finger at the association; the 49ers announced in June that Manscaped had become the “Below The Waist Grooming Partner” of the 49ers.

Logic suggests that there was an issue with Rapoport doing a deal directly with Manscaped without receiving all appropriate clearances and permissions from the league.

Given those facts, a two-week suspension seems like an overreaction. Such discipline by NFL Network previously had been reserved for much stronger actual or alleged violations, like allegations of sexual harassment that resulted in Heath Evans, Marshall Faulk, and Ike Taylor being suspended and ultimately leaving the network in 2017.

That same year, Michael Irvin faced allegations of rape. Although the criminal charges were dropped and no civil suit was ever filed, the league never took any action against Irvin pursuant to the kind of independent investigation the league routinely performs when players face such accusations. (It’s still not clear that the league even conducted an independent investigation.)

In 2015, Warren Sapp’s seven-year run at NFLN ended after he was arrested for alleged solicitation and assault of a prostitute. In 2016, Brian Baldinger received a six-month suspension for arguing that the Eagles should try to “hurt” Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott and should “put a little bounty” on him.

Rapoport’s conduct, in contrast, seems tamer than a slightly overgrown thicket of human hair. While he may have violated business rules relating to when and how on-air talent can cut their own deals, it seems that there could be a remedy short of whacking him for two weeks.

40 responses to “NFL suspends Ian Rapoport two weeks

  1. The whole thing is ludicrous. The product is a glorified electric razor, the ad campaign is vulgar, Rapaport’s participation is goofy, and the suspension is ridiculous.

  2. Can men just be men without ‘scaping?

    Now if the company could make a product for back hair they’d have something.

  3. Honestly everywhere I ever worked I wasn’t permitted to work for anyone else during those working hours. You know he got paid to post for the NFL and he tried to pick up a little extra cash, leveraging the audience he built up from the NFL work, by posting some advertising. Apparently he didn’t clear this but honestly this just seems wrong. I agreed you can point to years of things that seem unfair. But I don’t feel too bad about this one.

  4. He broke the rules for posting something he shouldn’t have. Probably pocketing some free advertising dollars on the way and only got a 2 week suspension.

  5. This feels like an April Fools joke, where I’m waiting for the punchline.

    Manscaped is an approved partner of the NFL, but NFL Network wanted to be asked to approve the ad…

    Was the content of the ad shocking…? They already knew what Manscaped sells… and no one cares.

    The title of this article should be “Bureaucracy Infestation at NFL Network”.

  6. It is probably how he went about doing it. And yes, not getting approval.

    Heck, if a company ponied up enough money, an owner might consider the naming rights change to “Twig and Berries” Stadium

  7. What a debased society we have evolved into, where this topic is a discussion. I appreciate the humor in it (See above from “John” at 11:04), but really? This is where are culture has turned to? Being in one of those Alaskan survival shows is starting to look pretty good.

  8. So they gave him the same punishment that they originally dished outto Ray Rice?

  9. So, he works for the network and promoted a company that advertises on the network. What am I missing?

  10. He is an excellent reporter. I hope when his stint with NFL network is over that he switches to ESPN, ABC or CBS.

  11. I guess by now we shouldn’t be surprised at the NFL (or it’s wholly owned entities) administering discipline in a completely inconsistent and illogical way.

  12. When you get football fans to sympathize with Ian Rappoport you know you’ve screwed up.

  13. Maybe the new stadium name in London England once the Jags finally say adios Jacksonville.

  14. Maybe the suspension was also for his stated desire “to be first rather than to be correct.”

  15. Sorry to hear the bad news about Ian… I figure that’s the way the Ball bounces sometimes!!

  16. Ian does not have the best rep among the NFLN reporters. Could be that this factored into the decision. None of knows what goes on behind the scenes over there.

  17. john says:
    October 10, 2020 at 11:04 am
    It’s bush league


    Well done. I enjoyed that.

  18. We live in the absolute dumbest timeline. Suspended for posting an ad for a pube grooming device.

  19. Typical pro sports over reaction that has plagued us since the first complaint by some hollywood baffoon…..i’m sure that Rappaport is laughing about this, as are about 98% of the players and coaching staffs……

  20. WOW, I thought I’d read that he released insider information before it should have been accessible, which he has done before and often, affecting team and player actions, and careers (basically tampering). Things the NFL should have acted on, but this, really?

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