NFL Cancels Meeting with Auction Winner Due to Failed Background Check

ESR News

Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

On May 29, 2020, the National Football League (NFL) announced the cancellation of a meeting between the winner of a COVID-19 charity auction and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to experience a “Monday Night Football” game at Goodell’s home due to a failed background check, the Sports Business Journal (SBJ) reported.

Dave Portnoy – founder of the sports and pop culture blog Barstool Sports – won the experience with the highest bid of $250,000 during the NFL’s charity auction to support COVID-19 relief held during the NFL Draft in April 2020, but failed a background check due to his “multiple encounters with NFL security,” SBJ reported.

“He was the highest bidder, but the bid was contingent upon a background check. So he consented to the background check, and it came back and he heard from the NFL today that he did not pass the background check. He will not be the winner,” NFL VP/Communications Brian McCarthy explained in the SBJ report.

The background check noted Portnoy’s arrest in 2015 for trespassing at NFL headquarters in New York City, another trespassing posted online in 2016, falsifying credentials for the opening night media interviews during Super Bowl LIII week in Atlanta in 2019, and violating a ban by attending the game itself, SBJ reported.

Portnoy – described as “a persistent critic of Goodell” by SBJ – responded with a Twitter video (Warning: Language) that stated in part: “Two-hundred and fifty grand to charity, I won it fair and square, and they say no. Why? Because they’re afraid of me. They’re afraid of the brain, and they’re not going to have some fun with it.”

SBJ reported that Portnoy said he was informed his credit card would not be charged $250,000 and that “the NFL will instead donate $250,000 equally to the six charities it was supporting during the draft-a-thon, and will select a ‘deserving front line worker’ from the pandemic for the experience.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness that spreads from person to person. As of June 19, 2020, there are approximately 8.5 million global cases and 454,000 global deaths, while the United States leads the world with approximately 2.1 million cases and 118,000 deaths, according to research from Johns Hopkins University.

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