At a time when NFL coaches have been told that contact with players will result in termination with cause (i.e., without pay), the prohibition on communication with players apparently doesn’t apply to the Commissioner.
Bengals receiver Chad Ochocinco gushed on Twitter about getting a phone call from Roger Goodell, which resulted in a one-hour conversation.
Chad said he was “nervous as hell” for the “most amazing surprise,” and that it was “cool as fudge” for Goodell to call.
We asked NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, who “re-tweeted” one of Chad’s Twitter messages about the conversation, to help us understand how it is that Goodell can talk to Ochocinco on the phone for an hour while teams can’t talk to their players for even a second. Aiello said that “normal social interaction” is permissible, both for Goodell and for the teams.
“Isn’t that a slippery slope?” we asked.
“Life is a slippery slope,” Aiello replied.
So now the question becomes whether teams know that they can engage in “normal social interaction” with players. And then the question becomes how “normal social interaction” would ever be policed.
Either way, it looks like every NFL head coach just got the green light to start engaging in “normal social interaction” with all of their key players on a daily basis.