The NFL’s PR woes continue.
As The Free Press reported on Monday, the NFL flubbed a tribute to the late Pittsburgh Steelers legend, Franco Harris, on Saturday.
The NFL not only cut to a commercial before the end of a ceremony honoring Harris, who died last week at 72, it also showed a Mexican flag displayed next to a banner with his jersey number, while claiming the tweet recognized “Franco’s Italian Army,” a reference to the former star’s Italian heritage.
Now comes a report that the Tennessee Valley Authority cut power to Nashville and Memphis residents and to local “non-essential” businesses caught in a horrendous deep freeze in part so the Tennessee Titans could have electricity for their game on Sunday against the Houston Texans.
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The Media Research Center, which reported on the controversy, noted that more than a million residents in those two cities were “pressured to limit their electric consumption” and also faced times of “no power at all to keep themselves warm on a frigid winter day.”
Temperatures in the region ranged between 16 degrees and 30 degrees over the weekend, the MRC noted. The game-time temperature was 20 degrees, the coldest in the Titans’ history.
Local media reported that on Saturday morning, residents were told to expect to be without power for 10-minute periods every 90 minutes to two hours as the blackouts sought to stabilize unprecedented demand for power to heat homes and businesses.
Yet the Center Square reported that the Titans’ stadium was lit up all night Friday night and all day on Saturday.
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Nashville Metro Councilman Freddie O’Connell tweeted in response to an announcement about the periodic blackouts, “While the rest of us endure another day of rolling outages in extreme cold, one of the day’s biggest questions is why an empty football stadium—a public entertainment facility—was lit up all night.
The NFL did agree to a request by Nashville Mayor John Cooper to postpone the game by an hour.
The TVA reported just before kickoff that the grid had sufficiently stabilized.
The purposeful freezing of residents in Tennessee’s two largest cities comes as taxpayers in Nashville and across the state are on the hook to fund a new $2.1 billion domed stadium for the Titans.
According to Sports Illustrated, taxpayers will fund $1.3 billion of the project, which also means a 10% reduction in seating capacity, compared to the current venue.