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Nashville Mayor Steps in, Won't Allow Cherry Trees To Be Cut Down for NFL Draft

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The city of Nashville, Tennessee, holds a Cherry Blossom Festival every spring, where the city celebrates Japanese culture, serves Japanese food and presents a family-friendly way for the local community to come together on a spring day.

In addition to the Japanese elements, cherry trees have a strong connotation in American history as well, given George Washington’s longstanding association with them.

To that end, and speaking to the plans to cut down some of those cherry trees to build the stage for the NFL Draft, Nashville Mayor David Briley sent a clear message that he cannot tell a lie: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s plans for his annual draft will not continue unabated.

As the Tennessean reports, those plans to cut down the cherry trees were met with outcries and backlash.

Mayor Briley quickly acted in response to the negative feedback and took to Twitter to outline the new plans for the 2019  NFL Draft.

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“After hearing the public response over the planned cutting of 21 of the 68 ornamental cherry trees at Riverfront Park, I informed the NFL and Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. that they will have to remove them intact and replant them in our city,” Mayor Briley said.

Furthermore, Briley took the opportunity to engage in a little arboreal renewal with his order.

Briley made clear that the NFL will not put the city’s taxpayers on the hook for the relocation, either.

And the city’s about to get a lot greener in the summer… and pinker in the spring when the trees are in full bloom.

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“The NCVC and NFL will replace the removed trees with 21 new ones, and will also plant 17 more at Riverfront Park in previously vacant and new locations. The NCVC will pay for the relocation and for any sidewalk damage. The NCVC and NFL have also agreed to plant an additional 200 cherry trees—for a total of 238 planted—across the city at fire halls, libraries, parks and in other places to continue to honor our relationship with Japan and long-time partnership with the Cherry Blossom Festival. Due to the change of plans at Riverfront Park, nothing will happen on Monday.”

Do you agree with the mayor of Nashville on this issue?

The NFL’s goodwill with the public is at an all-time low, so the perception that they’re coming into a city to steamroll a local tradition for a three-day event was always going to be a tremendous public relations risk on the league’s part.

The league has been trying to turn the draft into a traveling “College Gameday”-style roadshow in hopes of generating more interest for a TV broadcast that goes up against the NBA and NHL playoffs and regular-season baseball every April.

The draft itself, even if it were held in the “SportsCenter” green room at ESPN, would still generate wild speculation from fans of 31 teams and loud, angry boos from Jets fans.

And indeed, the speculation this year has already begun.

Will the New York Giants finally solve their quarterback woes after passing on a deep quarterback draft to take running back and Rookie of the Year Saquon Barkley second overall in 2018?

Will teams pass on Kyler Murray because he lacks the size of the prototypical NFL quarterback?

Will the New England Patriots find a replcaement for the presumably retired Rob Gronkowski?

Fans, rookies and franchises will have the chance to see those questions answered when the NFL Draft begins on April 25.

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Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Boston born and raised, Fox has been writing about sports since 2011. He covered ESPN Friday Night Fights shows for The Boxing Tribune before shifting focus and launching Pace and Space, the home of "Smart NBA Talk for Smart NBA Fans", in 2015. He can often be found advocating for various NBA teams to pack up and move to his adopted hometown of Seattle.
Birthplace
Boston, Massachusetts
Education
Bachelor of Science in Accounting from University of Nevada-Reno
Location
Seattle, Washington
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Sports




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