On Super Bowl Sunday, NFL stars tweeted their support for the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," following the advice of a White House liaison, Kyle Lierman.
"Football fans, hope you're getting ready for Super Bowl XLVII, don't forget you can #getcovered at healthcare.gov," tweeted Brendon Ayanbadejo, former linebacker for last year's Super Bowl champs, the Baltimore Ravens. His first attempt only got 8 "retweets" and 5 "favorites."
Lierman, a White House Office of Public Engagement liaison, drafted that tweet and others, in an email to the NFL Players Association obtained by The Washington Free Beacon. "When folks tweet this out if they or you email me with their handle I can flag it for the @whitehouse and our other twitter handles to be retweeted, etc.," the liaison wrote.
After two attempts, Ayanbadejo's third tweet, the only one with a major typo (it left out the "get" in "you can get affordable healthcare"), finally received a White House promotion. "Getting ready for Super Bowl XLVII … Football fans don't forget you can affordable [sic] healthcare at healthcare.gov #getcovered," he wrote. After @whitehouse retweeted it, Ayanbadejo's message found 78 retweets and 49 favorites.
Neither the White House nor the NFL Players' Association responded to requests for comment from The Christian Post.
Ayanbadejo's second tweet received even less coverage than his first, finding only one retweet and three favorites. "I know about getting injured and getting care. Football players need good healthcare more than anyone #getcovered," he wrote.
In addition to Ayanbadejo, NFL Agent Drew Rosenhaus followed The White House lead, tweeting a very similar message. "Getting ready for Super Bowl XLVII… Football fans don't forget you can get affordable healthcare at healthcare.gov #getcovered," the agent wrote.
Former wide receiver Donte Stallworth also followed Lierman's suggestions. Nearly a verbatim copy of one of Lierman's drafts, Stallworth tweeted "Football fans, hope you're getting ready for Super Bowl XLVII, don't forget you can #getcovered at healthcare.gov."
Stallworth was suspended by the NFL for the 2009 season after pleading guilty to DUI manslaughter charges in Florida. The suspended player recently joined the Center for American Progress' Action Fund for a pro-Obamacare "flash mob" in New York City.
The NFL itself rejected the Obama Administration's plea for support on Obamacare last June. "We have responded to the letters we received from members of Congress to inform them we currently have no plans to engage in this area and have had no substantive contact with the administration about PPACA's implementation," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy wrote in an email statement to The Washington Examiner.
In October, The Baltimore Ravens decided to promote Obamacare, receiving $130,000 from The White House to do so. The team was recruited by state officials to help sell President Obama's signature legislation, The Washington Examiner reported.
These efforts may be the latest in a push to solve the widely reported "Youth Problem" which faces the Affordable Care Act. "Too few young people are signing up for Obamacare to stop premiums from rising," according to "new data released by the administration," The Hill reported last month.