Goodell taking player suggestions on workplace conduct


NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will have more than the 144-page Wells Report to digest when determining how to make NFL workplaces safe places.

He’ll have the opinions of plenty of those in the workplace.

According to Peter King of Sports Illustrated, Goodell has met with more than 30 players to get input on how to proceed in the wake of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation.

One of those players was Eagles veteran wideout Jason Avant, who told Goodell: “Commissioner,’we need you to set standards. We need you to make it black and white. We need standards, and if we don’t meet them, we shouldn’t be here.”

Other league officials including vice president of player engagement Troy Vincent and human resources executive Robert Gulliver have also been in on the meetings.


More meetings will be held in early March, and when the owners meeting March 24-28 in Orlando, they will discuss new workplace policies.

But for now, they’re casting a wide net for recommendations, before changes that would and should include a code of conduct for employees.

24 responses to “Goodell taking player suggestions on workplace conduct

  1. I’d love to hear what these suggestions are. Which player told him the truth and suggested that he resign and make room for a Commissioner that doesn’t leave a hundred unaddressed issues to fester and spoil things? I’d like to hear from the NFL a suggestion on what aspect of managing anything about the game or the support of the game that they feel they do well. I don’t see anything, they don’t have a logical plan on how to deal with virtually any outstanding issue.

    Everything about this sport is a mess and they have no strong and good leadership to improve the quality of the game in the aspects where it is badly needed. And I agree with Avant, at least he’s not totally asleep and oblivious.

  2. Yes, we need this, because 6-5, 315 pound offensive lineman just can’t defend themselves from mean bullies who say bad things about their moms.

  3. He could spend about 5 mins talking with the HR rep for just about any corporation, and/or use some common sense when figuring out what the code of conduct for the workplace should be.

    Frankly, I’m surprised the NFL doesn’t have a code of conduct (other than not wearing non-sanctioned apparel or off colors). Every other corporation in the country does, apparently just not the NFL.

    You shouldn’t have to tell people it’s inappropriate to use racial slurs in the workplace.

  4. “Everyone gets a trophy, win or lose.”

    That has nothing to do with it. It’s a very simple discussion.

    ALL they need to do is treat EVERYONE (aka their opponents, teammates and coaches) with respect. That’s not asking too much from an adult professional. It’s expected of every other adult in any other workplace in the country.

    If you are incapable of treating others with respect then you have no business having a job in the first place.

  5. Be very cautious what you wish for. The ultimate “workplace” in the NFL is the field during a game. To those who are advocating a policy for locker rooms; those standards must also be applied to game actions. Trash talking? That has to stop during games also. Sherman’s rant after the NFCCG? Suspension or major fine? Trash talk me during a game and I file a grievance and get you suspended/fined.
    Martin and the media has set a new standard that will really trash the game. Run to the media and cry about your opponent trash talking you and threaten to file a suit over it? Workplace violence? You think Goodell has ruined the game, Martin will effectively destroy the NFL as we know it.
    Think before you wish for locker room standards because it is only a matter of time before they apply to gametime also.

  6. i’d like to see a poll of how many nfl players now despise j.martin for ruining thier locker room culture that has been around for decades. now there will be a microscope on players in the locker rooms and they will have to watch what they do around thier own friends and teammates.

    i’d put it at around 90% do not like him.

  7. i can see it now, bad players who know they will not have a long career and the best way to get millions from the nfl….”while i was lining up at wide reciever richard sherman continued to harass me saying i was terrible and why do i even play this game and just would not leave me alone, i have had to go and get therapy to overcome this and it’s affecting my life”…….. lawsuit!!!!!

  8. They will have a real hard time coming up with rules that will work.
    This is a diffiucult issue. It’s not as simple as following Title VII or the State equivalents on illegal harassment – and even that is hard. The pertinent statues are defined in part by case law. All of it revolves around severe and pervasive behavoir, which has both an objective and subjective requirement – in otherwords, what is harassment in one industry or company isn’t necessarily harassment somewhere else. I could imagine as mentioned above that there would be different standards for the locker room and the playing field. There could be different standards of what is acceptable all over the place. People also tend to hate these rules and think they are stupid, because they get in the way of actual human working relationships. I think the best you can do is have an anonymous reporting telephone line for NFL personnel and you have to have reports investigated quitely as possible with a built in requirment that the individual team gets to try to address the issue in house first. If after an investigation a reasonable person would believe that this behavior would negatively affect the team in a tangible way then there needs to be some sort of sanction.

    Even trying to adopt a low-key commons sense rule is pretty hard here.

  9. Whatever happened to “sticks and stones will break your bones, but words can never hurt you.”?

    To compare the job of an NFL player to that of an office worker is ridiculous. Football players think of themselves as warriors, where their job is to execute their assigned tasks and win the physical battle at all costs. If they can break the “rules” on the field and get away with it, they don’t consider themselves to be cheats. They’re the best cornerback in the NFL, or whatever. And if they can verbally abuse an opponent and get in his head, that’s all part of the game as well.

    NFL Football is a constant competition, not only with opponents but with members of the same team fighting to be among the 53. If you’re going to go after the conduct exhibited to make the team, what are you going to do about the conduct during a game?

    Nobody is required to play professional football. Most players are willing to do whatever it takes to get on a team and to stay there. And that includes putting up with verbal abuse. Martin apparently lost his motivation.

  10. How about each team start practice with a singing of Kumbaya and then they sit in a circle and talk about their feelings?

  11. Bring back head shots. Guy’s will shut up if they think they might get knocked out because of it. You notice you never hear about anything like this in hockey. They police themselves.

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