A giant banner celebrating Josh Allen and the Kentucky football program in downtown Nashville was taken down Thursday, reportedly at the request of the NFL as the first round of the NFL Draft is set to start.
The banner, featuring a stylized image of Allen’s back in a UK jersey flexing with the words “Recruit, Develop,” a UK football recruiting mantra, had been hung earlier this week on Moxy Downtown, a hotel soon to be open near Nashville’s Honky Tonk Row at 110 Third Avenue. The NFL Draft’s main stage is set up at First and Broadway, two blocks away.
Allen, who won a number of national defensive player of the year awards as an outside linebacker, is expected to be taken within the first few picks of the first round Thursday night.
“We worked with a local building owner to temporarily install a banner celebrating Josh Allen’s historic season and upcoming NFL Draft selection,” said Guy Ramsey, UK’s director of strategic communication. “We saw it as an opportunity to thank a player who made an incredible impact on our program and congratulate him on achieving the dreams he has worked so hard to pursue.”
According to a story on KentuckySportsRadio.com, the NFL initially asked the banner to be taken down citing the unauthorized use of the NFL logo in the bottom right corner. The Moxy refused, according to the story, instead opting to cover up the logo. The NFL then approached UK to help get the banner down, according to KSR.
“UK had to call Jamie Daniel, a partner in KSBar whose family is opening the Moxy, and tell him to take the banner down,” KSR’s Tyler Thompson reported. KSR and the KSBar are affiliated with each other with a number of joint stakeholders.
“The NFL and the city of Nashville have a perimeter for the draft which prevents temporary banners from being displayed in proximity to the draft events on Broadway,” Ramsey said.
After a segment about the banner’s removal on KSR’s morning broadcast and subsequent social media posts about it, reaction online was swift and negative.