Speaking on ESPN radio Tuesday morning, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback expressed displeasure over how the NFL handled itself regarding the National Fantasy Football Convention, which was supposed to take place July 10-12 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center.
“The players association had received a call [from the NFL] expressing the fining or the suspending of the players and we didn’t quite understand what the NFL was doing since they had yet to call us or call me, who was putting on the event, or my agency,” Romo said. “It reeked of maybe a scare tactic with the players and trying to get us this late in the game to have no players attend the event."
He added: “It’s like when you’re in high school and you don’t get invited to the party, it makes you feel bad. I think if [the NFL] really wanted to be a part of it, all they had to do was call and ask.”
A league spokesman said Saturday the NFL “reminded the players association” of the league's policy that bans appearances associated with casinos in regard to the NFFC event.
The Sands Expo does not have gambling on-site, but it is located on the property of the Venetian hotel and casino.
The league office responded to Romo's comments later Tuesday via Pro Football Talk, saying it did talk to the event organizers on more than one occassion, including when it first became aware of the planned convention.
Also, the league denied it was trying to scare players into not attending the event and said that, contrary to rumor, it had not called players or their parents directly on the subject. And it mentioned that the convention orginally was promoted as taking place at the Venetian Resort Casino Hotel, before organizers clarified the location as the Sands Expo.
On Monday the NFFC announced the cancellation of this year's event but said that it would take place next year in Los Angeles.
Romo said Tuesday that he didn't think the league necessarily wanted the convention to be called off.
"The NFL could have handled it in far, far better ways and there would have been a lot of issues that could have been resolved with the venue change or just wanting to be a part of it," Romo said. "There’s 10 different ways to handle it and that part of it made it very frustrating for the people involved.”