CommCore Blog and News

Red Flags Over The NFL

The NFL can’t win for losing:

·         Last February 4 we posted an item on this blog taking the National Football League to task for failing to communicate promptly with the media and the public when the lights went out in the New Orleans Superdome in the middle of the Superbowl.

·        Now there’s the sorry saga of Aaron Hernandez, the former all-star tight end of the New England Patriots. He stands charged with murder and gun law violations, and he dominates all news coverage of the NFL in between football seasons. Add to that the subsequent arrest of the Cleveland Browns’ rookie linebacker Ausar Walcott on charges of attempted murder, and you have a Perfect Storm.
 
The Hernandez and Walcott cases have NFL image-bashing in full swing. Furthermore, reports indicate that since the Superbowl there have been anywhere from 27 to 33 arrests of NFL players. This week the Kansas City Star even ran a rogue’s gallery of portraits of players arrested since the Superbowl.

 

It’s clear the NFL has to do more than remove Hernandez’s #81 jersey from its NFL Store now that he has been dismissed from the team and the league.

At CommCore we tell our crisis clients that most crisis communications isn’t about making a problem go away; it’s about preventing a bad situation from getting worse. That means the NFL paying more attention to the players’ off-the-field activities, determining why they commit crimes, and addressing the issue head-on.

As SportsMedia’s Chuck Chapman wrote: “The league has no problem keeping its players on a tight leash to promote a positive image on the field. Roger Goodell and the rest of the NFL owners are going to have to apply the same kinds of standards for off the field behavior…or risk losing everything they’ve built.”