This story developed over the weekend, so it’s a bit old, but the premise is so incredibly dumb that I felt obligated to share it today.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was suspended by his employer for two weeks because he posted something online without proper clearance. In this message, he apologizes for what happened, but never reveals what the actual problem was:
According to the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand, Rapoport was reprimanded because he posted an advertisement for a grooming product called the “Manscaped Lawn Mower,” which is an electric trimmer for your private area.
This is a bush league move by the NFL.
Get it? Bush league? <rimshot>
Look, obviously the crop of media members we’d refer to as “talent” are not allowed to do their own thing when it comes to advertising and side hustles. If Rapoport is employed by the league, there’s certainly a stipulation in his contract that says he cannot peddle for vendors that don’t have an existing league relationship, and even then, the sales department would handle all of the various transactions, commercials, and online campaigns for a specific client.
Take Crossing Broad, for instance. If Kyle works out an advertising deal with Jim Sipala’s Kia of West Chester, and Bob goes out and does a commercial for Barbera’s on the Boulevard, there would be a conflict there. Sipala himself might call up Kyle and say, “Why is Bob working with a competitor? That’s craaaaaaazy!” It’s an obvious conflict, but Kyle wouldn’t suspend Bob for two weeks, I don’t think.
That’s why the NFL thing is ridiculous. Suspending a guy two weeks for an advertising conflict? Nigel Bradham punched a cabana boy in the face and only had to sit out for one week. Same for Aqib Talib, who poked a dude in the eye. Larry Johnson used a gay slur and served less time than Rapoport. These, of course, are not comparable, but again its about OPTICS, and the optics look so lame here.
The overarching theme here is that money is God, and the NFL isn’t messing around when you do something that upsets the people who bring in the dollars and work with advertisers, because cash rules everything around us, C.R.E.A.M.