Friday, September 19, 2014

Should NFL Players be Role Models?

The NFL's sponsors are rattling their sabers because of the flood of negative headlines and stupid apish behavior of the players.

Their response has demonstrated bunker mentality. They're working their backchannels with the sponsors, throwing money/perks at them, and hoping it goes away.

Meanwhile, the talking heads debate ad nauseum about whether athletes should be role models.

They're on to something. The NFL should launch a "Role Models" program.

Players who DON'T qualify (see criteria below*):

  • Cannot sign sponsorship deals
  • Cannot appear in NFL promotional media (ads, spots, visuals, interviews) or any off-field activities/media related to the NFL
  • Cannot play in the Pro Bowl or other off-season promotional events
  • Cannot be admitted to the Hall of Fame
Conversely, if they do qualify they get:
  • A significant annual bonus directly from the NFL, payable in installments over the subsequent 2 years unless they are removed from the program
* Eligibility criteria would be the following with a zero tolerance, one-strike-you're-out policy:

  • 2+ years with the league
  • No criminal activity for the past 5 years
  • No suspensions or fines from the team or NFL 
  • No violations of NFL or NCAA policies on drugs, conduct, etc.
They'd have to be careful about due process and presumed innocence, but they should not allow any wiggle room within their rules. 

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