Sports Law Blog
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Thursday, December 04, 2003

Playmakers and the NFL: This is not yet legally-related, but I really hope that ESPN does not cave to the pressure of the NFL and cancel "Playmakers" for next season. The league has apparently not been happy with the show since its inception, as it dramatizes drug use, spousal abuse and a host of other problems in the context of an NFL locker room. On HBO last night, Paul Tagliabue again spoke out against the show, calling it a "gross mischaracterization of our sport."

There is some talk that the NFL will put pressure on ESPN to cancel the show or risk losing out on getting the valuable NFL television rights in the next contract phase. Gatorade has already pulled its advertising from the show, which some believe came after pressure from the NFL. I know that business is business, but if the show really is a fictionalized account, why should the NFL be worrying so much? Is it perhaps because the show hits a little closer to home than the league would like to admit?

Phil Taylor of comments here that the NFL should worry more about the actual players that inspired the drama, rather than the fictional characters. I have to say that I agree.

The Orange County register reports that the show is currently "in limbo" at this moment. (Link unavailable at this time- my apologies)


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