Former NFL player Benny Cunningham admits that the NFL is scripted. Cunningham said he couldn’t go into further detail because of an NDA he signed.

Cunningham’s tweet does seem to be a bold take, but is there any truth to his statement? After all, replies to his tweet suggest that NFL fans expected this.

Also read: NFL Stats Leaders: Passing Leaders Going Into Week 9

So, Is Benny Cunningham Right?

Conspiracy theorists will look to pounce on any opportunity they get to label the NFL as rigged, but is there any truth to what to Cunningham said?

Well, if fans want to point to any instances, they can look at the timing of particular events. For example, the New Orleans Saints won a title the year after Hurricane Katrina decimated their home field.

Following the tragedies of 9/11, the New England Patriots won a Super Bowl. Both the Falcons and Rams played in the Super Bowl the year before moving into a new multi-billion dollar stadium. There is definitely some suspicion raised here, but is it enough to call the league scripted?

The NFL: Entertainment or Sports?

The biggest reason we know that the WWE is scripted is because it is listed as an entertainment business. Its purpose is to keep its fans happy, and thus it can change narratives and fights as they please in order to appease their viewers.

However, the NFL is surely a sport right? They don’t claim to run an entertainment scheme, and there’s been no evidence to say so otherwise. Well, there might be.

The NFL has argued to gain broader antitrust protection in the past. This means that the NFL seeks to certain protections from the Sherman Act (which prevents businesses from conspiring against each other to downplay competition) just like the MLB has.

While the purpose of this isn’t necessarily for fixing games, it does bring into question certain things. For example, the NFL splits 75% of its revenue amongst all 32 teams, the highest figure of all major sporting leagues in the US. Thus, being bad still means raking in profits so long as the league is doing well.

If you go see a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium, 66% of the profits are given to the Patriots while the other 34% is split between the other 31 teams. This means that there may not be any incentive for bad teams to play well.

However, again, there is no conclusive evidence of rigging of any sorts. No other player, former or current, has spoken out about this issue, and until then we can assume that the league is pure.

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