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December 7th, 2022
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NFL nixes pro Bono at Bowl

Posted on Wednesday, January 07 @ 06:48:08 CET by Macphisto

(NYDailyNews.com) -- For the past two years, U2 front man Bono has been meeting on and off with National Football League officials, hoping to get them to allow a mention of the global AIDS crisis during the Super Bowl halftime show.

The activist Irish rocker - who performed with his band at the 2002 Super Bowl in an emotional tribute to the victims of 9/11 - last year joined Jennifer Lopez in Los Angeles to record "An American Prayer," his song concerning the African AIDS crisis.

I'm told that Bono proposed to the NFL that he and J.Lo perform his tune during the Feb. 1 extravaganza in Houston and thus raise awareness of the growing catastrophe.

A familiar figure in Washington as a lobbyist for federal funding to fight African AIDS, Bono floated other ideas during repeated meetings with NFL Communications Vice President Joe Browne at the league's New York headquarters, and persuaded MTV types - who are producing the 12-minute Super Bowl halftime show for the NFL - to endorse Bono's effort.

But last week, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue's office summarily rejected Bono's proposal, saying the show - which is being sponsored by AOL to the tune of $8 million - is for entertainment, not for flogging worthy causes.

"We simply decided that we were going to have our halftime show, and we were going to deliver, as we do annually, an extremely entertaining halftime show," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told me yesterday. "We don't believe it's appropriate to focus on a single issue." He added that this has been a long-held view.

McCarthy said Tagliabue was not involved in the decision, nor was Tagliabue aware of Bono's frequent visits to headquarters.

"As commissioner of the National Football League, he has bigger concerns than over who is performing a halftime show," McCarthy said.

I asked why NFL officials continued to meet with the rock star if the AIDS component wasn't in the cards.

"They were listening," he answered, "and they met with Bono out of their great respect for him."

McCarthy added that the NFL is still planning to participate this spring in Bono's planned trip to Africa to highlight the AIDS crisis, and that NFL players will be along for the ride.

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