Rams director of strength training and performance Ted Rath was arrested on January 15 on charges of sexual battery. Somehow, the Rams and the NFL kept it all under wraps for two months, even though that two-month period entailed for the Rams a week that typically delves into every nook and cranny of the newly-crowned AFC and NFC champions.
The Rams managed to keep the Rath incident under wraps because, as a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed to PFT, Rath had a medical procedure that kept him from traveling to Atlanta. But for that development, Rath still wouldn’t have been there for the game because, as the source confirmed it to PFT, his leave of absence already had begun.
The source said that the Rams also had communicated the information regarding the arrest to the league office, meaning that both the Rams and the NFL concealed the situation during the week that the Rams were in the epicenter of the NFL’s biggest event of the year, with an article on NFL.com providing the official reason for Rath’s absence from Super Bowl week without even mentioning the other official reason that would have kept him away from the team. (Rath also missed the NFC Championship, but the surgery happened after the win over the Saints.)
Given that the team and the league knew about the charges against Rath but said nothing, an important question arises: Should the information have been affirmatively disclosed at the time of his arrest?
The fact that it wasn’t says plenty about the transparency (or lack thereof) in matters of this nature, and it underscores the reality that the league’s stance regarding off-field misconduct isn’t driven by right and wrong but by P. and R. Obviously, the best way to manage a potentially awkward and embarrassing incident from a public relations perspective is to make sure the public knows nothing about it, for as long as possible.
Although the cat is now out of the bag, it remained hidden from view during a seven-day period that would have produced multiple stories about the charges against Ted Rath and, inevitably, a mention for the 100-million-plus watching Super Bowl LIII that Rams coach Sean McVay’s get-back coach isn’t there to restrain him during the game because the get-back coach had been left back in L.A. after being charged with sexual battery.