Broncos General Manager John Elway sent a letter to the Senate on Broncos letterhead endorsing Donald Trump’s pick for the US Supreme court, but the team denies it was on Broncos letterhead.
Broncos PR chief Patrick Smyth retweeted the letter (first made public by Peter Marcus with ColoradoPolitics) adding “not Broncos letterhead.”
Not Broncos letterhead. Was written on John's personal letterhead (see left margin) & his endorsement is independent of the Denver Broncos. https://t.co/9DYZS0Aarq— Patrick Smyth (@psmyth12) March 20, 2017
On its face, this argument goes against both plain English language and common sense.
Elway’s endorsement letter has a Broncos logo at the top, is signed by Elway as “Executive Vice President of Football Operations/General Manager, Denver Broncos Football Club,” and has the team’s address and Elway’s job title in the left margin.
In his tweet, Smyth says Elway’s name in that left margin is meant as an indicator that the letter is personal rather than official.
But that doesn’t gel with older letters from other team officials.
An image of a testimonial letter from the Broncos head of corporate partnerships praising SeeHear Media for its ads in the bathrooms of the stadium back when it was called “INVESCO Field at Mile High” bears the same features as the letterhead Elway wrote in support of Gorsuch.
The real issue: why do the Broncos care that people think this came from the team?
That is because *some* fans of the Broncos aren't fans of President Trump or his pick for the Supreme court.
And on that score-- the team says John Elway wasn't speaking for them.
“[Elway's] personal views, like any member of the organization, are 100 percent independent of the Denver Broncos,” Smyth said in a statement to 9NEWS. “In no way were his personal thoughts meant to be interpreted as an official endorsement on behalf of the team."
The Broncos say Elway used the logo letterhead because he wanted the US Senate to know it was really him, not to attempt to make an endorsement of Gorsuch from the team.
Even if the team had endorsed the judge, we found no way that would get them in trouble beyond PR trouble.
An NFL spokesman told us it “has no league policy in this area.”