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Washington Redskins Fumble the Transatlantic Relationship

A spokesman for the Washington Redskins pushed away a German reporter asking about a missed kick after a game in London.

gettyimages-619221810
gettyimages-619221810

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.

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.

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

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