Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had previously reached out the sporting league to inquire about a possible partnership to market the healthcare legislation, which reaches full implementation on Oct. 1.
But the NFL isn’t having any of it, as The Washington Examiner reported.
“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 PPACA’s implementation,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Examiner in an email.
It’s unclear whether or not the NFL’s resistance has anything to do with a letter from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. In the letter, dated June 27, McConnell and Cornyn urge the league not to participate in the marketing agreement.
“Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of this bill, 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,” the letter reads.
The two Senators also encouraged the NFL to contact them if there were any negative “policy retaliation” for declining to participate in marketing Obamacare.
But even though the Obama administration struck out on the NFL, it has also reportedly been in talks with both the National Basketball Association and Major League Baseball. And if those negotiations don’t work, there’s always Hollywood, which has historically had a close relationship with President Obama and the White House.