Fantasy football combine in Vegas ‘still on,’ breaks NFL rules
While NFL pressure forced the cancellation of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s fantasy football convention, another group is continuing with its plans to host a similarly themed gathering in Las Vegas even though active players may be fined for participating.
Free-agent wide receiver Brandon Stokley told FOX Sports that the Fantasy Sports Combine is “100 percent still on” for mid-July. The event is set for the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort.
The locale would put active players slated to appear in violation of NFL rules, which is the same issue that led to the cancellation of an even bigger July event in Las Vegas spearheaded by Romo.
The National Fantasy Football Convention was set to feature more than 100 players and media personalities. Among the bigger names were Dez Bryant, Rob Gronkowski, DeMarco Murray, Antonio Brown, Jamaal Charles, Eddie Lacy and Le’Veon Bell.
The league, though, informed the NFL Players Association that players would be breaching NFL policy because the NFFC was booked on 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 Friday in an email statement to FOX Sports.
NFFC organizers decided to cancel their event and are now set to debut next summer in Los Angeles. The league’s involvement generated a heated response toward the NFL from Bryant on Twitter.
“Don’t understand whenever they make s*** load of money off of us smh…..” Bryant wrote. “@tonyromo put that event together for the fans… Geniuses s***.”
Romo was more diplomatic in his Twitter reaction but a source tells FOX Sports that he is furious about the postponement.
“NFL has canceled our fantasy football convention this year in Vegas and that is disappointing,” Romo wrote. “I’m sad for the fans and players.”
The Fantasy Sports Combine isn’t as ambitious an event as the NFFC but is still set to feature standouts under contract to NFL teams in Brandon Marshall, Shane Vereen, Michael Floyd, Von Miller and DeAngelo Williams. Stokley, retired quarterback Kyle Orton and two former NFL head coaches (Mike Ditka and Mike Shanahan) also are among those advertised.
“Only a small part of what we are offering involves current players,” Stokley said Sunday night in an email to FOX Sports.
That still may not sit well with the league office.
An NFL spokesman didn’t respond to a FOX Sports request seeking comment on whether the league has also spoken with the NFLPA about the Fantasy Sports Combine. The NFLPA has not responded to multiple FOX Sports requests seeking comment on the league’s casino rules.