Thursday, October 20, 2011

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's Double Standard For Players and Coaches by Greg Garrison

Roger Goodell's April 2010 memo regarding personal conduct (sent to all 32 teams):

“…every investigation, arrest, or other allegation of improper conduct undermines the respect for our league by our fans, lessens the confidence of our business partners and threatens the continued success of our brand.
It makes no difference whether an incident occurs during the season or in the off-season. At every opportunity, you should remind them of your standards and the public’s expectations, of the need to use good judgment, particularly when in a public place.”

As the new NFL commish, Goodell wasted no time in letting it be known that there was a new sheriff in town and there were going to be consequences for bad behavior - just ask Steelers.

In three games this season, the fines are already starting to add up for the Steelers.
Safety Troy Polamalu and cornerback Ike Taylor have also been fined $15,000 each.
Also, lineman Doug Legursky was fined $10,000, bringing the total for the team to $62,500

So, in this era of heightened accountability, why did Roger pass on fining San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh and Detroit coach Jim Schwartz for their post game melee, this past Sunday?

In their heated altercation - played over and over on the sports airways - the coaches were branded as hot heads. The image of Jim Swartz, like a rabid animal going after and bumping (yes, there was contact) Harbaugh was an embarrassment to coaches on every level.

How many times have you had or heard a coach emphasize composure? It appears both coaches forgot the requirement of the NFL personal conduct code of avoiding “conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football League.” (NFL Personal Conduct Code)

The commissioner also had a chance to address the perception/concern of black players that there is a double standard of justice. By fining the two white coaches, he let’s the world know that anyone, regardless of status or color, associated with the NFL will be punished when they break the rules or threaten the continued success of the NFL brand.

Several players, who publicly tarnished the NFL's image, had to go New York to apologize and show remorse to Goodell in person.

On the contrast, Harbaugh joked that he had to work on his handshake and Schwartz blamed his blow up due to Harbaugh’s profanity.

So, what action did Goodell take?

None. Apparently, this incident did not warrant his attention, so his subordinates handled it.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello tweeted on Tuesday:

Both coaches told Ray Anderson(NFL vice president of football operations) today that their post game conduct was wrong and will not happen again. We believe their response is the correct one and that their post game conduct going forward will be more appropriate.

This is the league that cherishes image so much that they have sideline police at every game who enforce the uniform code and made huge rule changes to tone down on field and end zone celebrations.

Players go at one another and sometimes cross the line in the heat of the moment and they have to pay the price.

Sadly, the football world is left with this message:

We (NFL) do not tolerate anyone tarnishing the shield...except coaches, who are suppose to set the highest example for their men, organization and league. From the coaches all we need them to say is sorry. No hefty fine - that's reserved for the players.

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