If you follow the NFL, the news of the day is the one-year suspension and fine of New Orleans Head Coach Sean Payton for his involvement in the now-famous bounty program as well as the indefinite suspension of Greg Williams, the defensive coach who concocted the scheme. Over a three-year period, Saints players were paid extra for targeting and in some cases injuring opposing players during football games.
However, if you follow crisis communications like we do, the real story is the decisive steps Commissioner Roger Goodell is taking to protect the brand and reputation of the NFL. Part of his statement reads: “Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised.”
There was no knee-jerk reaction from the NFL. Goodell acted in two steps. He reacted quickly when the news broke, then took advantage of the crisis “golden hour” to weigh all the options before handing down what is being called punishments of historic proportions.
Protecting the reputation of a multi-billion dollar brand isn’t easy. Do you believe the Commissioner’s actions will help or hurt the NFL brand?