President Obama turned up on the heat on North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un today, saying that if the government’s missile program is not dismantled, and if human rights improvements are not made, the so-called hermit kingdom faces “a very real risk of never getting to host the Super Bowl, the NFL’s showcase event — a fate which no nation wishes to face.”
The threat of losing the Super Bowl has proven to be a very real stick for government leaders. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill this week that would have allowed businesses in her state to refuse gay and lesbian customers, in no small part because the NFL was prepared to move next year’s Super Bowl from the state if the measure passed. With NFL commissioner Roger Goodell looking to expand the league internationally, the president saw this as an opportunity to utilize the Super Bowl in dealings with Jong-un.
“I know King Jong-un is more of an NBA fan,” said Obama. “But it gets no bigger than the Super Bowl. However, if all the demands of the United States and the international community are met, I’m sure we could get North Korea the NBA All-Star Game. Secretary of State John Kerry has the phone numbers of all four major commissioners and we are prepared to talk.”
In an encouraging sign, Jong-un said he will consider the offer.
“I want a say in who does the halftime show,” Jong-un told North Korean state media. “None of this Bruno Mars stuff. And I want a Super Bowl without Peyton Manning. I already know how that ends.”
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