NFL hopes sellers will stop

Updated: May 2, 2004, 1:44 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Pat Tillman memorabilia have become hot items on the online auction site eBay. Some people are offended that sellers are trying to profit from the former NFL player who was killed in combat in Afghanistan.

Most of the Tillman-themed items are NFL trading cards, photos and magazines related to Tillman. But some sellers are trying to pass off military paraphernalia, such as patches and rings with his Army Ranger unit insignia, as the ones Tillman actually wore.

Tillman died April 22 in a firefight in Afghanistan.

At noon Friday, there were 454 items related to the San Jose-raised player who gave up his $3 million contract with the Arizona Cardinals two years ago to become an elite Army Ranger, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

"Our hope is that anyone attempting to personally profit from Pat Tillman's legacy will immediately cease and desist," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.

The league has told its jersey licensees not to sell Tillman's Cardinals No. 40 jerseys "in an effort not to cash in on the tragedy," Aiello said.

In the past, San Jose-based eBay Inc. has banned bidding on some items, such as post-Sept. 11 images and collectibles, but the company has refrained from stopping the auction of Tillman-related products.

"Some people may feel it's offensive to sell his memorabilia at this point, and if we saw anything offensive or distasteful, we'd take it down," said eBay spokesman Hani Durzy. "But we haven't seen anything like that."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press