Today’s Editorial August 06: Challenge decision is unfortunate

What was billed as a maximum exposure opportunity for the Cayman Islands has been quashed by the NFL.

The NFL Quarterback Challenge in the Cayman Islands was supposed to air at 2pm Saturday on ESPN.

It didn’t.

And we have the Atlanta Falcon’s quarterback Michael Vick to thank for it.

He was one of the quarterbacks featured in the challenge, which was taped on Grand Cayman in May.

The Cayman Islands has a three-year contract with NFL to hold the Challenge here.

This first year cost the Cayman Islands $700,000. That’s a good chunk of change, but the media exposure from the airing of the Challenge would have justified the expense.

The three-year deal will cost more than $2 million in total.

We’re not blaming the Government for spending the money.

We’re just disappointed, as the Department of Tourism and Ministry of Tourism are that this year’s challenge was cancelled.

It’s unfortunate that Michael Vick was chosen to participate in the Challenge at all.

Before the quarterbacks arrived, Vick was under suspicion of being involved with illegal dog fighting.

Charges have been filed against him and he’s got a November court date set.

NFL’s move to cancel the Quarterback Challenge shows that organisation’s attempt to distance itself from Vick.

We hope that in future Quarterback Challenges – at least for the next two years – the NFL does a better job of screening the football players it invites.

While Vick hasn’t been convicted of anything, he has been living under a cloud of suspicion for some time.

Football players, especially quarterbacks, are looked on as heroes by kids and adults alike. They should conduct themselves so.

Now the Department of Tourism is left with the task of working with the NFL marketing next year’s Quarterback Challenge.

We wish them luck.

The NFL Quarterback Challenge is a great way to promote the Cayman Islands.

It’s just unfortunate that this year’s event wasn’t aired because of one player.

Support local journalism. Subscribe to the all-access pass for the Cayman Compass.

Subscribe now