Sun, Jan 03, 2010 - Page 20 News List

NFL: Group wants NFL to boot The Who from Super Bowl

AP , POMPANO BEACH, FLORIDA

A South Florida child abuse prevention group wants the NFL to reconsider booking The Who for the Super Bowl halftime show.

Child AbuseWatch.net objects to Pete Townshend performing because of his 2003 arrest by British police on suspicion of possessing child pornography.

He was eventually cleared but placed on a sex offenders registry for five years as part of a formal police caution for accessing a Web site containing images of child abuse.

The Pompano Beach group’s founder and CEO Evin Daly told the South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper that their concerns are focused on Townshend.

“I’m a fan of the band, I grew up with The Who. Pete Townshend is the only issue, and the issue is that he’s a former registered sex offender,” Daly said. “The issue is, it sends the wrong message to American families.”

Daly did not return phone or e-mail messages on Friday.

In a Dec. 17 letter to Daly, Joe Browne, the NFL’s executive vice president of communications and public affairs, said the league was aware of Townshend’s arrest. He also noted Townshend’s charity work.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told The Associated Press on Friday that Townshend and The Who would perform in the Feb. 7 halftime show at LandShark Stadium in Miami.

“UK police cleared him since he was doing research for a project on child abuse,” McCarthy said.

Messages left on Friday for The Who’s record label in the US, Universal, and the band’s publicist were not immediately returned.

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