[02.22.08] Last month the NFL sent letters to some churches prohibiting them from showing the Super Bowl on screens larger than 55 inches. The controversial move prompted some lawmakers to complain, leading the NFL this week to recant its regulation. The big game will air on churches’ big screens next season.
In a letter Tuesday to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodall stated that religious organizations could air live showings of the Super Bowl “regardless of screen size,” reported The Washington Post.
Before this year’s Super Bowl XLII, The Post reported that many churches had canceled their Super Bowl parties for fear of being sued. Conservatives on Capitol Hill then threatened to create legislation that would allow churches to be exempt from the NFL’s limitations. Under the league’s previous regulations only bars could air the game without the restrictions.
“Many families want to enjoy the Super Bowl in a group atmosphere,” Hatch said, “but obviously aren't going to take their kids to a sports bar.”
Conservatives and clergy alike are now praising the NFL for overturning their position.
Steve Holley, executive pastor of Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Va., who canceled his church’s Super Bowl party this year, told The Post he was encouraged by the NFL’s decision “to set aside profit for community spirit.”