Why the NFL Made the University of Kentucky Take Down a Giant Banner
Based on our interest in SEC football and the celebration he chose when becoming the seventh pick in the NFL Draft—a reserved one, since he and his 1-year-old son were watching a movie on his phone—we think Josh Allen will be an excellent NFL player and an even better dad. Regarding the former part of that duo, the league decided to flex its muscles against the 260-pound defensive end’s alma mater, the University of Kentucky, ahead of his selection, demanding that the school remove an enormous banner that celebrated the star because of the item’s unauthorized use of its logo.
#Jaguars DE Josh Allen told local media he couldn’t jump up and celebrate when the Jags took him at 7 because he was watching Monsters University on his phone with his son, Wesley. Big week for Allen, who married his wife Kaitlyn last Thursday. pic.twitter.com/xCSFxZhaqj
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) April 26, 2019
Mainly owing to its tough (but since relaxed) stance on touchdown celebrations, the NFL earned a reputation as the “No Fun League,” and last week’s matter led Allen's supporters to find that secondary acronym even more endearing. As the Lexington Herald Leader reported, the University of Kentucky had sought to honor Allen’s contribution as a Wildcat through a banner situated two blocks from where the NFL erected its draft stage. While the school acknowledges, via the publication, that the league and the host city of Nashville “have a perimeter for the draft which prevents temporary banners from being displayed in proximity to the draft events,” that element merited, it seems, less attention than the banner’s inclusion of the league logo. No matter that Allen, who claimed commendations such as the Chuck Bednarik Award and Bronko Nagurski Trophy for his defensive prowess, would soon be joining the league as one of last Thursday’s opening night selections, the NFL elected to make brand identity the focus and protection of said status its mission, demanding that the token disappear.
The No Fun League has removed UK's Josh Allen banner on Broadway. https://t.co/BGiuuuHw2Y
— Nick Roush (@RoushKSR) April 25, 2019
The hotel that granted Kentucky the space for the commemorative creation nixed the request to have it taken down, with the school having to become a part of the process due to the refusal. We could see the validity of each side’s story in this, but we tend to join those who are calling the NFL out for not letting the banner, which depicts Allen with his back to us and the words ""Recruit" and "Develop" at the top, remain. Yes, Kentucky issued an item that included a non-permissible logo, but the means to give Allen his due as a collegiate would certainly have been gone by the conclusion of the draft, which occurred Saturday, leading one to wonder what damage it could possibly have gone to the league’s legacy. If he goes on to have a fantastic career, he will certainly provide extra exposure for the NFL, granting it numerous opportunities to bank on his fame. We know that connection can be a difficult one to make in the heat of the moment when a brand sees a possible threat to its name, but no such hostility was present in the Allen banner. That aside, here’s hoping that he and the Jaguars fare well and that fans receive the right goods if they order gear to tout such success.