Monday, September 15, 2014

Rehabilitating the NFL Brand by a Lawyer & Panthers' Fan

Rehabilitating the NFL Brand – by a Lawyer & Panthers’ Fan

americanfootballThe NFL has gotten a lot of negative publicity recently regarding its handling of several incidents of violence committed by several high profile players. Although the NFL claims to have handled these instances of violence within their Personal Conduct Policy there were several “after-the-fact” deactivations this week and an indefinite suspension designed to defend its reputation with the public. The NFL is a business and its business model relies heavily on the support of fans in order to be successful. The late decisions to deactivate and suspend players proves that the fan base is an important component of the NFL’s business. The NFL’s recent disciplinary actions sends an unclear message to the professional players and the public as to the consequences of a player’s off-field actions.

The NFL may or may not discipline the player prior to any adjudication of the action in court but once you insert wide-scale media coverage and great public disagreement with the actions of the player, the NFL will step in to discipline the player. Players should be disciplined consistently regardless of who may be watching.

In order to maintain the integrity of the NFL brand, definite policies outlining the consequences of a player’s off-field actions should be adopted. Our society was built on rules and enforcement of those rules through legislation and judicial enforcement. The benefit that the players would receive with a more clearly defined rule structure is awareness of the consequences of their actions on their careers. As attorneys who represent business owners and professionals, we are well aware that one of the most common complaints is a lack of clear communication between ownership, management, and other employees; this includes a failure to communicate expectations and the consequences of failing to meet them.The rule book

Consumer confidence is valuable to any company and a set of definite guidelines that are followed consistently will build consumer confidence in the NFL and show that the organization stands behind its promise to not tolerate violent conduct – at least off the field.

Playing professional sports is an opportunity that very few people have. Those who get that privilege would greatly benefit from knowing exactly what will happen if their conduct falls short of what is expected of them. They must also keep in mind that if they can’t follow the rules, there are plenty of talented individuals waiting to take their places.