The 1993 Super Bowl might still be held in Arizona, Paul Tagliabue said, despite his recommendation that it be moved after voters refused to make Martin Luther King Day an official holiday.
"I've heard some people say that some type of solution in Arizona is possible," the NFL commissioner said. "We don't want to foreclose that."He did not say whether anything short of a reversal of the vote would be acceptable.
"We don't want to be punitive. We want to be fair-minded," he said.
His recommendation was in response to an isolated case, and it is no signal that the NFL will be more active in political and social issues under his administration, he said.
"It was the sensible thing to do under the circumstances," Tagliabue said before the Tampa Bay-New Orleans game Sunday.
After Tuesday's vote in Arizona, Tagliabue recommended moving the Super Bowl out of Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., home of the Phoenix Cardinals. NFL owners are to vote on the recommendation in March.
"The recommendation is a precedent of controlling our game," he said. "Right for the present, it stops at Arizona and the circumstances we find in Arizona."
He said he saw no conflict with his stance on the 1993 Super Bowl and the fact there's only one black head coach in the league and that the Cardinals play eight home games a year in Phoenix.
"No, I don't think it's being hypocritical," he said. "They'll continue to play there.
He said the Phoenix issue is in no way linked to the decision to cancel the annual Gasparilla parade as part of this season's Super Bowl festivities in Tampa. The Mardi Gras-type parade was included in the city's bid for the Super Bowl, but it was later disclosed that there was no minority participation at any meaningful level in Ye Mystik Krewe, the organization that stages the parade each year.
Ye Mystik Krewe withdrew, and another organization has been formed to stage the parade.