The James Saxon case proves that PR drives the politics of personal behavior

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On Monday, judge Sue L. Robinson accused the NFL of reacting too harshly to public opinion in the Personnel Policy administration. She did not realize that the public was in charge of all politics.

Politics exists as a mechanism by which the league can take action against players and others who are in trouble away from work. For most employers, off-duty behavior is not an employer’s problem. But the NFL has been concerned about such issues as the public expects action to be taken against those who potentially waste the “privilege” of being associated with the Shield by getting into trouble when they don’t operate under its auspices.

Even so, the Privacy Policy does involve some PR balancing for the league. It is one thing to act when the situation off the pitch has been thoroughly discussed, discussed and researched, as was the case with Desha Watson. When someone gets into trouble and the media doesn’t notice it, the league has to choose between acting – and thus turning non-history into history – or letting sleeping dogs lie.

A prime example of this dynamics is the lead by the NFL of cardinals coach James Saxon. It was first announced on Friday that he had been arrested in May on charges of domestic battery charges. After the Cardinals report is released on the league’s recommendation, Saxon is placed on paid administrative leave.

This timeline caused many to conclude that Saxon did not tell the cardinals about the situation, or that the cardinals did not tell the league. This is not the point; As coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters on Friday, the team knew about the arrest when it happened and the team reported it to the league then.

Until today, after the publication of the report, the league did not recommend a team-based administrative leave.

The implication is obvious. The league did not want to make history from a detention facility in Saxony when such a story did not exist. If he had been placed on administrative leave then someone would have asked, “Hey, where’s the Saxon coach?” By deliberately waiting, no one knew. Thanks to this, the league did not have to deal with the negative story of a coach who was charged with a home battery.

There is some hypocrisy in the league’s decision not to take any action until necessary. The NFL will discipline employees and teams that do not report incidents immediately. But the NFL reserves the right to hide such incidents from the public if they are not generally known. Then, when someone reports the case, the league will do what it should have done, but what it didn’t want because it preferred that no one knew about the arrest.

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