This week NFL officials headed out to Mexico City in the wake of the 7.1 earthquake that rocked the area. Don’t get the wrong idea, they weren’t there for humanitarian efforts, they were there to see if the stadium is ok for their international game this season between the Raiders and Patriots.
Reports are good as far as the stadium is concerned, so says NFL’s PR Chief, Joe Lockhart.
On Pats-Raiders, Joe Lockhart said no major damage to stadium found to this point but NFL's conversations continue with Mexican authorities.— MarkMaske (@MarkMaske) September 22, 2017
Now what about everything else in the host city? Did you check on that?
Thus far there has been no word from the NFL of any efforts whether financial or otherwise to help out Mexico City which suffered major damage and a death toll which was confirmed at 274 people in recent reports.
It seems trite and insensitive to talk about the condition of an empty sports stadium when populated buildings across the city, including schools, have collapsed and hundreds of people are dead.
Instead of the NFL just checking on their playing venue, maybe helping out the city would be a good idea.
I’m sure Mexico City is appreciative of the NFL gracing them with its presence, but this is not a one-sided affair, it’s a two-way street. The NFL benefits just as much from these games by promoting their brand internationally. On top of that, some great PR would be for the NFL along with the Raiders and/or the Patriots to put forth some humanitarian efforts in the city which they will be celebrating for one Sunday this year.
That goes especially so for the Raiders who already have a large following in Mexico and are playing at Azteca for the second straight season. Thus far there are no known efforts planned. I reached out to the Raiders inquiring about any such plans and received no response.
There is so much that could be done that would barely affect the bottom line of an NFL team — let alone the league -- and would be a grand goodwill gesture.
Maybe helping to rebuild a school? Or a damaged historical monument? Make a large donation to help assist families who lost their homes and/or loved ones?
Any and all of those things would sure boost the image of the NFL. We know how important image is to Roger Goodell. And right now it looks like the his priorities are a little messed up.
This isn’t difficult. You want to hold a game in Mexico City and tout how great the city and the people and the culture is while promoting the global brand of the league? Here’s your chance.