NFL pressures Tony Romo to cancel fantasy football event in Las Vegas

NFL pressures Tony Romo to cancel fantasy football event in Las Vegas

We'll get to the NFL's hypocrisy in a moment, but first the news: A fantasy football convention organized by Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has been canceled due to pressure from the league.

Why, you ask? The NFL has embraced fantasy football, and Romo is one of the league's headline players. Because it was in evil old Las Vegas, that's why. Specifically, it was on the grounds of a casino. Not actually at a casino, mind you, but at the Sands Expo and Convention Center, which is connected to The Venetian casino.

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The event was supposed to take place June 10-12, and according to Fox Sports' story on the event, players like Rob Gronkowski, Jamaal Charles, Antonio Brown, Le'Veon Bell and other big names were supposed to take part and hang out with fans. The NFL informed the NFLPA 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," Fox Sports reported. At gonffc.com, the organizers said, "This is a direct result of sudden and unexpected opposition taken by the NFL concerning player participation and their perceived association with gambling for an event in Las Vegas."

In other words, man this is stupid.

"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.

The event has already been rescheduled for 2016, but in Los Angeles next year. The NFFC said those who registered this year will get a full refund or "a significant complementary benefit package" for next year's event.

Romo expressed his displeasure on Twitter.

Romo's teammate Dez Bryant responded with some more colorful language. Here are his edited tweets:

(@dezbryant)
(@dezbryant)
(@dezbryant)
(@dezbryant)

The NFL has taken a fairly ridiculous public stance against gambling, but this might be the worst of it. What exactly did they think was going to happen at that convention center? Aside from fans and players having a good time, promoting the sport even further and encouraging involvement in fantasy football, which (like it or not) has become a bedrock of the NFL's popularity? It's not like any of those players was going to walk into a sports book and bet against their team just because OMG THEY'RE IN VEGAS. In a league that has had many bad off-field headlines for domestic violence and other things, a running back playing craps late at night wouldn't be the end of the world either. All the NFL did by pressuring Romo and his group was hurt its own fans, who I'm going to guess will have a hard time canceling a trip this late, and obviously would have been excited for an event with all those stars.

And for what? It's probably not worth it for the NFL to maintain ridiculous front that gambling doesn't exist, that it's evil or that it isn't also a key to the NFL's popularity through the years. As they say, there's only one real reason for the injury report.

The NFL stuck it to their fans and made players upset over a convention about a legal activity (fantasy football) it supports in a major tourist city, just because it's taking place near where some other legal activities happen.

What a fumble by the NFL.

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Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!