Ethical and Non Ethical Behaviors of the NFL
Every day in this day and age, you can turn on the television, or open the newspaper and find stories about organizations in this world that exhibit ethically and socially accepted behaviors, as well as those that exhibit ethically and socially unacceptable behaviors. There are a few that exhibit both, and an example of one of the biggest organizations that exhibit both behaviors is the National Football League.
The National Football League, or NFL, was founded in 1920 by a group of men led by George Halas (Halas Wikipedia page, para 5). The league was formed during a time when the popularity of college athletics far outweighed that of any professional sport, especially football. The NFL struggled for many years while slowly gaining popularity as it competed against college sports and the other major competition of the time, Major League Baseball. As time has gone on, the NFL has formed into a multi-million dollar organization that now rivals Major League Baseball for the title of our national pastime.
With a fan base that grows every year, the NFL generally has a very positive public perception. However, more and more these days, that public perception is being challenged by off the field incidents by players and other issues such as the current labor agreement dispute that threaten to alienate fans from the teams and players themselves. Since his election into the position, the commissioner of the league, Roger Goodell has made one of his top priorities to continue to move forward with promoting a positive image of the league who, without the support of the general public buying tickets to games, concessions, and souvenirs, would suffer greatly financially. There are many positive and negative issues that the NFL is dealing with today, but by far and away the most positive activity that the league participates in and promotes is NFL Charities. The NFL sponsors many charities and promotions that help a wide range of groups from homeless and underprivileged children to former players who are handicapped from their playing days and have fallen on hard times by giving medical and financial assistance to them(Letter from Commissioner, para 2) .
An example of a recent promotion that has been given extensive television exposure during this last football season is the NFL’s “Play 60” promotion. The “Play 60” promotion is a youth health and fitness initiative that promotes healthier lifestyles for our children by stressing the importance of sixty minutes a day of exercise. Roughly ten million dollars are spent every year by the NFL to fund and advertise for these charities (Letter from Commissioner, para 2).
The league also supplements the charitable activities of all 32 teams and also those of individual players by donating money and resources to their particular charities. Funding has also been given by the NFL to support medical research and education in sports related injuries. It is hoped that this will benefit those who participate in competitive sports and recreational activities (NFL Charities Web page).
By giving the support and funding that they have, the NFL is showing its commitment to communities’ nationwide and charitable engagement. It is strengthening its public perception by encouraging long term health and wellness in the community, assisting in medical research and advancement, and supports the health and well being of current and former players (NFL Charities Web Page). Although the charities that the NFL sponsors promote a very positive image, very recently over the past several years the league has had many incidents that threaten to tarnish its image. Gun law violations, domestic abuse, dog fighting, and sexual harassment are just a few of the violations that have been committed by NFL athletes over the past few years. However, it is not only the actual incidents themselves that can hurt the...
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