Friday, September 19, 2014

UPDATE TO PRIOR POST --- NFL Announces Needed Changes Will Be Quick in Coming ... The Fans and Sponsors Reign Supreme .... And That's Exactly As It Should Be

Commissioner Goodell held a press conference and issued a strong and sincere mea culpa this afternoon on behalf of the NFL and its owners. To me that's a sign that better days lie ahead for the league, league officials, players, sponsors and the ones in charge --- NFL fans, aka the customers.

It's also a clear demonstration of free markets at work and that the customers are the real bosses.

NFL Seeks to Implement New Personal Conduct Policies is subtitled 'Commissioner Goodell Admits Mistakes, Says NFL 'Will Get Our House in Order:''

"NFL commissioner Roger Goodell tried to end the controversy swirling around his league, now in its second week, on Friday afternoon in his most expanded comments since a domestic violence scandal hit football.

Mr. Goodell outlined a new conduct committee and seemed open to relinquishing some disciplinary power....

Mr. Goodell took the blame for the wave of crises. "We have seen all too much of the NFL doing wrong," he said. "That starts with me."
While Mr. Goodell was light on specifics as to what will be the exact role of the conduct committee, which he hopes to have in place by the Super Bowl, the biggest news was that he would be reviewing his own role in the appeals process for player discipline. Mr. Goodell currently has final say on all matters and a neutral arbitrator is appointed only in cases that he determines one is needed, unlike other sports where neutral arbitration is guaranteed. The commissioner wouldn't commit to exact changes on his role but said "everything is on the table."

"We will get our house in order," he said.

The conduct committee, which the league likens to the NFL's competition committee will likely have more outside voices, however, since the competition committee is made up of league owners, coaches and executives. The league this week hired three advisers, all women, to evaluate the process by which they handle these cases. Mr. Goodell said he regretted one portion of that handling in the Rice case—interviewing Ray and Janay Rice together in the same room. He said he's been advised they should have made separate statements away from each other.

Mr. Goodell said he hasn't considered resigning, saying he is focused on his current tasks. He also said he still has support of ownership. Mr. Goodell said he didn't think the league was close to losing a major sponsor. Though Friday, Crest toothpaste did say it would scale back its participation in an upcoming program with the NFL. "We thoughtfully reviewed the action and decided it was the most appropriate course," a P&G spokesman said. Crest will donate, as planned, $100,000 to the American Cancer Society for breast cancer awareness, but it "has decided to cancel on-field activation with NFL teams," according to a statement.

Mr. Goodell apologized for initially getting the Rice suspension wrong. Mr. Rice was suspended two games by Mr. Goodell before new video evidence emerged. Mr. Rice, who is now suspended indefinitely and has been cut by his team, was entered into a pretrial diversion program that will result in, upon completion, assault charges being dropped.

Despite an Associated Press report in which an unnamed law enforcement official claimed to have sent the second video in April, Mr. Goodell reiterated that he believes no one in the office saw the video.

In the wake of the scandal, the Carolina Panthers benched defensive end Greg Hardy, who had played in week one after a conviction for domestic abuse and communicating threats against his girlfriend. Also this week, Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested on aggravated assault charges. The Cardinals immediately deactivated him as well.

Earlier, Goodell sent a letter to teams stating that the league is giving "financial, operational and promotional support" to two of the biggest domestic violence and sexual assault organizations—the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. An NFL official said the deal was a "multimillion, multiyear" deal.

The commissioner said in the letter that because of the attention the NFL's domestic violence issues received, calls to the National Domestic Violence Hotline increased 84% from Sept. 8-15. He said that according to the organization, more than half of those calls went unanswered because of staffing.

"That must not continue," he wrote."

Summing Up

Now we're getting where we need to go.

When customers rule, good things happen.

In this case, sad as it is, team owners, league officials and players are clearly and quickly reacting to what their customers and sponsors are demanding.

Customers and sponsors are all demanding that the NFL leadership, team owners and players all clean up their acts.

The NFL and American society will be better for what has happened these past few weeks, despite its total ugliness.

That's my take.

Thanks. Bob.

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