Over the weekend, Mark Wahlberg went on ESPN’s Mike & Mike and claimed that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell once called him to personally complain about Ballers, the HBO show that is more or less an NFL-themed version of Entourage. Wahlberg, who serves as an executive producer on the show, alleged that Goodell told him “you can’t do this” after seeing it.
The show generally plays things pretty straight without depicting anything too outrageous or unrealistic, so it begs the question what exactly Goodell had such a problem with. Sure, there’s nudity, drugs, and frat boy antics, but it’s almost impossible to make a (realistic) show about NFL players without those involved. Through the first season, there’s been very little surrounding concussions, violence (domestic or otherwise) or corruption/cheating. Why would Goodell complain?
Well, according to the league, he didn’t. At least not to Wahlberg directly.
Though that denial from Natalie Ravitz, NFL’s SVP of communications, is pretty cut and dry, the league itself has issued a “No comment” on the entire situation. One would imagine that they’re just trying to ignore it until it goes away, but considering Ballers is still basically in its infant stages and several NFL players made cameos in Sunday’s season two premiere, that might prove to be difficult.