A star-studded, fantasy football-themed convention organized by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo was canceled because of NFL concerns about its locale.
A source told FOX Sports that the league informed the NFL Players Association that the inaugural National Fantasy Football Convention slated for July 10 to 12 in Las Vegas would be in violation of NFL rules by being held at a casino property (the Sands Expo) even though there is no gambling at the center itself.
"Players and NFL personnel may not participate in promotional activities or other appearances at or in connection with events that are held at or sponsored by casinos," an NFL spokesman said in an email statement to FOX Sports.
Punishment for participation in the event would likely result in a fine but a suspension would be unlikely, a source told FOX Sports.
A source connected with the National Fantasy Football Convention told FOX Sports that NFL representatives were calling players and even the parents of some players threatening that participants could be suspended. An NFL spokesman denied that has happened.
The NFLPA didn’t immediately respond to a FOX Sports request seeking comment.
The NFFC, which was initially slated for the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, billed more than 100 former players and media personalities as appearing. Some of the bigger names include Rob Gronkowski, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles, DeMarco Murray and Eddie Lacy.
Besides featuring marquee talent, the event was considered unique in that it would allow fans to mingle with players through autograph signings, question-and-answer sessions and fantasy drafts.
It’s believed the NFL warning about player punishment isn’t sitting well with Romo, who was instrumental in developing this project.
"I’m thrilled to be a part of bringing the National Fantasy Football Convention to life," Romo said in a March press release. "Fans have never been closer to the game. A lot of my buddies already see themselves as an owner or GM, and now fans finally have the chance to interact with all their favorite players and experts."