NFL mega-advertiser Anheuser-Busch says
it remains "disappointed" with how the league has dealt with a rash of domestic violence incidents, The Wall Street Journal
"Unfortunately, a lot of sponsors have been put in the position of having to justify their relationship with the league," said Busch spokesman Nick Kelly.
There have been calls circulating on social media urging boycotts of NFL advertisers, the Journal reported.
Other sponsors, including PepsiCo and a Procter & Gamble subsidiary, also released statements distancing themselves from the way the NFL has addressed possible criminal behavior among players.
Radisson hotels has reduced its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings, the Journal reported.
Bud Light is currently the official NFL beer — a designation worth an estimated $1.2 billion. The company spent $185 million on advertisements during last season. All told, advertisers spent $3.9 billion on league games last year.
Advertisers flock to NFL games because they draw huge audiences and the highest weekly television ratings. Some 22 million fans watched the first Sunday Night Football game on NBC — an 8 percent jump even with the scandals plaguing the league. Competition for advertising time remains intense, the Journal reported.
Among the scandals are videos showing Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens striking his partner until she fell unconscious in an elevator; Greg Hardy of the Carolina Panthers beating his girlfriend; Ray McDonald of the San Francisco 49ers hitting his fiancée; and Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings physically disciplining his son.
Rice was originally put on the bench for two weeks. After a chorus of disapproval, he was indefinitely suspended.
Peterson has been told to stay away from all team activities until further notice, NBC
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been the focal point of fan dissatisfaction. He continues to enjoy the support of team owners. Unless an inquiry by former FBI director Robert Mueller reveals any wrongdoing in how Goodell handled the Rice case he is likely to keep his job, the Journal reported.
Goodell announced on Sept. 16 the appointment of four women to develop the league's future policies on domestic violence, USA Today
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