Dare we say the NFL’s latest Las Vegas-related controversy is — ahem — over the top?
Some three-dozen players, including the Dolphins’ Kenny Stills, participated in a charity arm wrestling tournament at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Hotel and Casino last weekend, USA Today first reported. And the league apparently isn’t happy about it.
“Had we been asked in advance if this was acceptable, we would have indicated that it was in direct violation of the gambling policy,” Joe Lockhart, the NFL’s executive vice president for communications and public affairs, told USA TODAY Sports. “No one sought pre-approval.”
So what does that mean? Stills could potentially face a fine — or even (however unlikely) a suspension.
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That’s because the NFL has already threatened players who were thinking of participating in Tony Romo’s Las Vegas fantasy football convention with such discipline.
In this most recent case, the league would be punishing some of its better known stars over a relatively trivial offense. Running back Marshawn Lynch, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman and Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey were all reportedly involved in the event.
The league might have to relax its strict no-player-appearances-on-casino-property rule when the Raiders move to Sin City in 2020. The primary drivers of Las Vegas’ economy are tourism and gaming.