As the NFL continues its investigation into the ongoing Exxxotica Expo’s usage of player likeness and team logos, each of said players in the scandal are coming forward to deny their involvement. Just about a month ago an ad was created to promote the cross country porn convention that featured a few NFL players in uniform. Rookie sensation Jacoby Ford found himself in the ad so now he too is denying any involvement. While the players are free to do whatever they wish with their own image the league forbids the use of team logos without prior consent.
Ford issued the following statement yesterday.
“To all my fans, friends and family, I just want to clarify that I did not authorize the use of my name or likeness for the Exxxotica Expo event that took place in Miami. I was not at the event or even in the state of Florida when it took place. It’s unfortunate people don’t take the right steps to seek permission before using player’s names and it ends up portraying my support for something I would never be involved with. I stand behind the NFL’s ongoing investigation and want to make sure everyone knows that these are not the types of events I would personally endorse. I look forward to playing football and doing my best for the Raider Nation!”
While Ford might well be telling the truth, there is a certain amount of uncertainty that taints this whole situation.
One of the first players to deny involvement was Houston Texans cornerback Kareem Jackson. Jackson’s statement isn’t an outright denial however.
“I wanted to clarify an event that took place on May 20th at Club Play in Florida. I authorized my name to be used at that club with the understanding that it was going to be a party hosted by NFL Players. It was never explained to me or did I ever authorize my name or likeness to be associated with Exxxotica Expo 2011. I am appalled that my name and likeness were used in that capacity. In addition, I never authorized the use of my likeness or picture in my NFL uniform. I apologize to the Houston Texans, their fans and family if I caused any embarrassment. I am sincerely sorry.”
It’s not too far fetched to think that during the lockout guys are looking for ways to make some extra cash. Lending ones image to an event is more than understandable and you could as see how those involved in the event might stretch the truth a little to secure the players commitment.
Again, I could see it being very possible that Jackson didn’t know exactly what he was getting involved with. But it should be noted he did admit to lending his likeness to someone involved with this expo. Be it the facility where the event was held or the actual event itself is what remains to be seen as to where the supposed miscommunication occurred.
Now where things get truly interesting is with Brandon Flowers of the Kansas City Chiefs. His likeness also appeared on the ad and he too has denied involvement. The problem is Flowers sent out a Tweet promoting the event.
Something is not right with this whole situation.
As for those that put the ad together, they’re going to have to get lawyered up in a hurry. Whatever agreements they might have made with the players is one thing. Using NFL property without permission is quite another. The players can feign ignorance and have a good chance of walking away with no harm being committed. As for the ad makers, they’re going to have some real explaining to do.