ATLANTA - The NFL doesn’t want Ron Mexico to play for the Falcons.
Since that name was listed as an alias for Atlanta quarterback Michael Vick in a lawsuit filed last month, people have gone to the NFL’s online store to order Vick’s No. 7 replica jersey with a personalized “MEXICO” on the back.
But fans trying to order the customized jersey now get this message: “The personalization entered cannot be accepted.”
The alias was printed in court documents in a civil lawsuit filed March 14 that alleges Vick infected a woman with herpes. Vick has said he will fight the charges.
Among the parties listed in the lawsuit is “Ron Mexico,” which the plaintiff’s attorneys claim Vick has used as a pseudonym. Vick’s attorney, Lawrence Woodward, did not immediately return repeated calls to his office this week.
The Falcons haven’t commented on the case.
The NFL told its online shop to add the pseudonym to its list of banned names, along with obscenities and others deemed improper, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
“The jerseys are intended for fans who want to have their name on a jersey,” he said. “Obviously, this was in direct reference to recent events. We decided it’s inappropriate to sell jerseys with that particular name on it.”
McCarthy said “only a handful” of orders for the Mexico jerseys had been placed, and none were filled. A few “Ron Mexico” T-shirts have popped up at other online retailers, though none of the NFL’s licensed replica jerseys have been sold or posted for sale.
News of the made-up moniker has circulated on sports talk shows and Web sites.
“This is life. This is freedom of speech. You can’t control what people say or do. As long as you control yourself and conduct yourself in a well-mannered way, that’s all you can do,” said Falcons safety Keion Carpenter, Vick’s best friend on the team and a business partner who helped the quarterback start his youth football camps.
The attention has even thrust an unwitting Ron Mexico (not an alias) into the spotlight.
“I’ve been getting a ton of calls. People are asking me if I know him. I don’t, of course,” said Mexico, an auto parts supplier in Brighton, Mich.
“How do you pull a name like that out of the air? Use Bob Smith or Jim Johnson; there’s 50 million of them. Out of all the names in the whole world, I wanna know how he picked this name out,” Mexico wondered.
CSN: Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has been contacted by police investigating a possible homicide in North Attleboro, Mass. Hernandez is not believed to be a suspect but a rental car in his name is connected to the death.
2013 SNF Schedule
Check out the 2013 Sunday Night Football schedule.
Latest from ProFootballTalk
Video: Football from NBC Sports
Texans' Mt. Rushmore
ProFootballTalk: Erik Kuselias, Mike Florio and the fans agree that Andre Johnson, J.J. Watt, Arian Foster and Bob McNair belong on the Texans' Mt. Rushmore, but Frank Wycheck argues that Mario Williams deserves a spot.
Check out some of the NFL cheerleaders from across the league.