NFL Dragged Into Townshend Kiddie Porn Protest

The Who is scheduled to gig at the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami and Jose Lambiet of the PALM BEACH POST reports that three Florida child abuse groups are already calling for the NFL and U.S. immigration officials to stop Pete Townshend, a former registered sex offender in the U.K., from performing at the game.

Pete Townshend Protested By Child Abuse Groups For Super Bowl Appearance

In 2003 Townshend was investigated by U.K. police after he was caught visiting a website that featured child pornography. He was later cleared, but forced to register as a sex offender for five years. TheSmokingGun.com reports that, “at the time of his arrest, Townshend admitted using his credit card to visit a web site offering child porn, but told cops he was just conducting research.”

TSG also notes that Townshend once wrote on his website the following: “The pathway to ‘free’ paedophilic imagery is–as it were–laid out like a free line of cocaine at a decadent cocktail party: only the strong willed or terminally uncurious can resist.

The NFL did officially respond to one of the groups, Child Abusewatch.

In his response to Daly’s request to drop The Who, the NFL’s Joe Browne, head of public relation, pointed out that Townshend viewed one child abuse photo and didn’t download the material. Browne also wrote that Townshend has been known to support children’s charities. The NFL, Browne added, “has worked hard in recent years to ensure the (halftime show) is suitable for . . . mass audience.”

The authorities in Britain know a lot more about Townshend’s habits than I do, so I’m not going to question their judgement in deeming the guitarist being fit to walk among his countrymen.

But honestly, couldn’t the NFL find halftime entertainment that wouldn’t prompt a protest over something as unseemly as kiddie porn?

I have to believe the NFL knew about Townshend’s background, which is all the more reason not to go there. Not saying that’s fair to Townshend, but when you’re dealing with an event of this magnititude, you can’t afford to take any chances. (Like having someone as part of that entertainment responsible for his very own 8-page entry on TheSmokingGun.com.)