We at Cincy Jungle aren't politicians by trade, nor do we use our platform to shout our stances on certain issues that are outside of the football world. But, when a story about an impending era of healthcare reform collides with one of the most powerful sports organizations on the planet, we find it newsworthy and worth relaying on to our readers. In short, don't kill the messenger, here.
Both sides of the political fence have decidedly differing opinions on the ObamaCare issue, and it has been coined one of the most controversial issues in the modern political age. Part of the strategy of the Obama administration in an effort to have ObamaCare gain popularity among the American public was to appeal to the major sports organizations in an effort to promote the reform act. It falls in line with his campaign strategy filled with ESPN interviews and other soundbytes from the President speaking about a college football playoff system and the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. In case you didn't know by know, President Obama enjoys sports immensely.
According to multiple sources, the NFL has said no to promoting ObamaCare to its fans. It's unclear how hard that the Obama administration was pushing the NFL for promotion of this reform, but they obviously sent out feelers on the subject, at the very least. A statement from Greg Aiello, the NFL's spokesman, said:
"We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about [the health-care law’s] implementation."
Several Republican Senate members have written statements to the major sports organizations (which is what Aiello is referencing above), asking them to disassociate their respective entities to ObamaCare. Senators Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and John Cornyn of Texas spearheaded the efforts of these letters to sports leagues. An excerpt from the letters to the leagues written by Cornyn and McConnell read:
"Like millions of other Americans, we opposed [ObamaCare] based on compelling evidence that it would raise health care costs, dramatically increase the tax burden on already struggling Americans, and raise Medicare to fund an entirely new entitlement program that we simply cannot afford," wrote McConnell and Cornyn to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. "Perhaps most concerning of all, ObamaCare would also direct the federal government to intervene into some of Americans’ most personal health care decisions."
McConnell and Cornyn noted a recent Gallup poll showing that a majority of Americans disapprove of ObamaCare ( via United Liberty). "[F]or every one person who thinks he or she will benefit from it there are two others who believe it will harm their family’s health care," they wrote."Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of [ObamaCare], it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,"
We don't know if the efforts of those who are opposed to ObamaCare held weight with the league or not, but it's quite possible that these sports organizations don't want to touch anything in the political realm and want to stick to what they know the most about--their respective sports organization.