- By David FrancisDavid Francis is a staff writer for Foreign Policy, where he oversees FP's breaking news blog, The Cable. An award-winning journalist, David has reported from all over Europe, Nigeria, Kenya, Mexico, and Afghanistan on terrorism, national security, the geopolitics of energy, global economics, and the European financial crisis. His work has been published in outlets including the Christian Science Monitor, the Financial Times Deutschland, Slate, and SportsIllustrated.com.
The NFL is having a bad year. The quality of play is down. Fewer people are watching games. Concussions remain a major worry. To combat potential stagnation in America, the league is trying — as it has for years now — to win fans in Europe. One team just got flagged for a false start.
On Sunday, right after a game played in London and meant to help tap into a European audience, Washington Redskins’ kicker Dustin Hopkins was approached on field by a German television reporter. Hopkins had missed a field goal in overtime that helped the Skins walk away with an unsatisfying 27-27 tie with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The reporter was asking what went wrong with the kick, when a man who has been widely identified as Redskins public relations executive Tony Wyllie begin screaming “No!” He then shoved the reporter. A video of the incident is below.
NO NO NO NO!!!
— Markus / Hopp3lch3n™ (@hopp3lch3n) October 30, 2016
It doesn’t appear that the Germans took the dust-up too seriously. When the video cut back to the studio, the hosts were laughing. But physically pushing a foreign reporter away from a player is probably not the best way to build a foreign fan base for American “football” — especially when the NFL is competing against the richest and most-watched soccer leagues in the world.
Photo credit: ALAN CROWHURST/Getty Images