October 21, 2020

2010-01-01 – South Florida Sun Sentinel

2010 01 01 South_Florida_Sun_Sentinel

Super Bowl should drop

Who musician, group says

Robert Duyos, file
British police arrested Pete Townshend in 2003. saying

he accessed child pornography on the Internet.

By Sarah Tahlay and Sean Picooli

More than a month after the NFL
announced The Who will perform at
halftime during Super Bowl XLIV, a
Pompano Beach child abuse preven-
tion organization is continuing to
push the league to reconsider its

Child AbuseWatch.net objects to
musician Pete Townshend perform-
ing with The Who because of his
2003 arrest by British police for ac-
cessing child pornography online.
Townshend, who said he had been
sexually abused as a child, admitted
using his credit card to access the
site in 1999, but said he was conduct-
ing research for his autobiography.
He pleaded guilty and received a
“caution” from police that allowed
him to avoid trial. His name went on
a British sex offenders’ watch list
until 2008.

Citing child porn arrest, activists object to Pete Townshend performing

“The Who is a great band. Pete
Townshend is the only issue here,i’
said Evin Daly, Child AbuseWatch
.net founder and CEO.

Daly said his and another Florida
group, Protect Our Children, will
keep pressing the case with media,
politicians and sponsors of the Feb. 7
Super Bowl at Dolphin Stadium.

But Daly acknowledged that hav—
ing the band removed has its obsta-
cles. '

“First of all, the NFL — like all
these big organizations — they have
a corporate ego. it‘s very hard for
them to backtrack and say, ‘We were
wrong," ” he said.

In a Dec. 17 letter to Daly, Joe
Browne, NFL executive vice presi-
dent of communications, said the
league was aware of Townshend’s
arrest and subsequent discipline.

Browne mentioned Townshend’s
“long history of involvement with
charity work as well as being a

champion of children's charities.”

“We recognize that the Super
Bowl is annually watched by mil-
lions of Americans and we have
worked hard in recent years to
ensure the presentation is suit-
able for this mass audience,”
Browne wrote.

The band has nOt publicly com-
mented on objections to the per-
formance. A spokesperson for its
US. record label, Universal,
could not be reached to comment

Since his guilty plea, Town-
shend’s musical career has re-
sumed with minimal interrup-
tion. The Who’s most recent tour
included a March 2007 concert at
Hard Rock Live in Hollywood. In
December 2008, Townshend and
The Who lead singer Roger Dalt-
rey were in Washington, DC, to
accept their award as Kennedy
Center honorees.