I’m not sure how I got on the distribution list, but I got an email from the NFL commissioner, detailing the conversations that led to the changes in their Personal Conduct Policy for all NFL employees. You can read the policy here.
There has been much debate these past few months about the off-field behaviors of some of the NFL players and the commissioner’s response to those behaviors. Many called for his job, others said it was the team ownership and coaches responsibilities to monitor their players.
I’m not here to discuss the behavior, but rather to discuss who is responsible if/when an employee acts inappropriately or worse, illegally, on their personal time. As an employer, we can certainly dictate what is appropriate when our team is representing us and our clients out in the community. But how far does that go?
Certainly an NFL player, with national recognition, who acts in appropriately will get much more attention than someone with much less notoriety. Does the cashier who gets a DUI get fired or does his employer give him a second chance? How about the president of a large, publically held company?
It may be a hypocritical, but we oftentimes hold celebrities and other recognizable public figures to a different standard. So perhaps policies like what the NFL is implementing need to be in place in order to set the standard, have something to fall back on when something like this happens.
Will other businesses do the same?