James Saxon case proves that PR drives the Personal Conduct Policy

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On Monday, Judge Sue L. Robinson accused the NFL of reacting too strongly to public opinion in the administration of the Personal Conduct Policy. She failed to appreciate that public opinion drives the total coverage.

The coverage exists as a mechanism for empowering the league to take motion in opposition to gamers and others who get in bother whereas away from work. For most employers, off-duty habits shouldn’t be the employer’s concern. But the NFL has made such points its concern, as a result of the public expects that motion can be taken in opposition to those that doubtlessly squander the “privilege” of being related to The Shield by getting in bother when not working below its auspices.

Still, the Personal Conduct Policy entails a little bit of a PR balancing act for the league. It’s one factor to behave when an off-field scenario has been closely lined, mentioned, and scrutinized, like the Deshaun Watson case. When somebody will get in bother and the media does not discover, the league has to decide on between appearing — and due to this fact making a non-story right into a story — or letting sleeping canines lie.

An ideal instance of this dynamic comes from the NFL’s dealing with of Cardinals operating backs coach James Saxon. On Friday, it was reported for the first time that he was arrested in May on home battery fees. After the report emerged, the Cardinals positioned Saxon on paid administrative depart, at the suggestion of the league.

This timeline triggered many to deduce that both Saxon hadn’t instructed the Cardinals about the scenario or the Cardinals hadn’t instructed the league. That’s not the case; as coach Kliff Kingsbury instructed reporters on Friday, the group knew about the arrest when it occurred, and the group reported it to the league at that time.

The league, per the group, didn’t suggest administrative depart till immediately, after the report emerged.

The implication is clear. The league did not wish to create a narrative out of the Saxon arrest when no such story existed. If he’d been positioned on administrative depart at the time, somebody would have requested, “Hey, the place’s Coach Saxon?” By intentionally ready, nobody knew. Which stored the league from having to cope with a unfavorable story a few coach being charged with home battery.

There’s a certain quantity of hypocrisy in the league’s determination to take no motion till it has to. The NFL will self-discipline workers and groups who fail to report incidents instantly. But the NFL will reserve the proper to cover such incidents from the public, in the event that they’re in any other case not typically identified. Then, as soon as somebody reviews on the concern, the league will do what it ought to have already achieved — however what it did not wish to do as a result of it most well-liked having nobody find out about the arrest.

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