NFL: International Series-New York Giants at Green Bay Packers
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An NFL official denied there are security threats for the season-opening game between the Green Bay Packers and the Philadelphia Eagles in Brazil.

NFL chief spokesman Brian McCarthy, in a message to Front Office Sports, forcefully pushed back on commentary made by Packers running back Josh Jacobs that began circulating on social media.

Jacobs spoke of the game in Brazil, scheduled for September 6th at Arena Corinthians in São Paulo, on the “Green Light with Chris Long” podcast.

“They said that the part of Brazil we going to you can’t even wear green man. They said, I guess something to do with gangs and stuff,” he said, prompting the hosts to swiftly declare that they weren’t going.

“Man, it’s like one of them places where they probably won’t even let us leave (the hotel).”

Jacobs added, “They probably are gonna have like armored vehicles following us around. I said, ‘Bro, why are we out here?'”

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NFL Denies Security Issues

McCarthy and the NFL swiftly responded to the allegations made by Jacobs regarding security concerns for the game in Brazil.

He says that both the reference to the teams wearing green and the hotel security comments were false.

“Neither of these items are true. One of the host stadium’s rival soccer clubs wears green but the league did not say players could not wear green,” McCarthy’s statement reads. “That is false.”

McCarthy also pointed out the league has been thorough in their planning to keep players and personnel safe.

“Multiple league officials from across the league have made multiple planning trips. As with any international game, we have comprehensive security plans in place coordinated with local officials,” he added.

“Again, there was no guidance provided to the clubs as suggested here.”

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Why Brazil?

The NFL is playing a game in Brazil as part of its international expansion strategy to grow the game globally. It will mark the first NFL game in South America.

This move is part of the NFL’s efforts to expand its reach and fanbase beyond the United States. Arena Corinthians in São Paulo has a capacity of nearly 50,000 and was a venue for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.

Reports indicate that São Paulo sees a robbery reported every five minutes and a theft every two and a half minutes based on statistics from 2023.

The city’s historical center has also fallen into crime-ridden decay, according to some sources.

Despite these issues, São Paulo’s overall crime rate is not significantly higher than other large cities, and it is generally considered safe for tourists.

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