LOS ANGELES: The NFL is looking into whether an arm wrestling event featuring dozens of current and former players at a Las Vegas casino violates league anti-gambling rules.
Although the NFL only recently signed off on the Oakland Raiders’ move to the gambling haven of Las Vegas, commissioner Roger Goodell insisted last month that wouldn’t affect the league’s gambling policy.
Currently, players are barred from appearing at casinos as part of promotional events.
“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, NFL vice president of communications, told USA Today Sports, which first reported the league’s concern over the event. “No one sought pre-approval.”
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ESPN on Sunday (Monday in Manila) that the league would be looking further into the inaugural Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship at the MGM Grand hotel and Casino.
According to USA Today, participants included former Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who is now retired, and current Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung, Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills and San Francisco 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman also took part, the newspaper said.