NFL Sends (and Releases) Memo to 32 Teams

Roger Goodell’s office sent a memo to 32 teams on Friday showing exactly what the league has done in response to the domestic violence scandal that has overshadowed the 2014 season.

In a turn of events that’s about as surprising as South Park’s Redskins episode, this memo was released to the public mere hours after Goodell sent it out.

Here’s the full transcript (h/t Pro Football Talk).

To: Chief Executives
Club Presidents

From: Commissioner Goodell

Date: September 26, 2014

Re: Actions in Support of Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Efforts

In an attempt to keep you properly informed, we will provide a series of periodic updates regarding actions taken in support of our commitments to address incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault in the NFL and to set a positive example within our society.

First, earlier today we met for several hours with DeMaurice Smith and several NFLPA representatives to continue discussing issues of personal conduct, including training, education, family services, and the disciplinary process.

Second, we continued our meetings with a wide range of groups to better understand the issues relating to personal conduct and to inform a comprehensive examination of our policies in these areas. Earlier this week, we met with 11 former players, as well as individuals with law enforcement backgrounds, to discuss their views on standards of conduct, appropriate levels of assistance, and discipline. These meetings will continue.

Third, we met with senior representatives of the U.S. Army regarding the military’s approach to addressing issues of misconduct, including the provision of support services to families and victims. This support services model coincidentally is summarized in the attached op-ed piece, which appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Fourth, beginning with last night’s game, we have provided NFL television promotional time for a PSA produced by NO MORE, a national campaign addressing domestic violence and sexual assault. This PSA ran during last night’s CBS Thursday Night Football telecast which reached more than 16 million viewers. The spot will run during all NFL game telecasts this weekend. The value of this promotional time is close to $3 million. We are evaluating how to use our broadcast promotional assets for the rest of the season in support of our efforts to address domestic violence and sexual assault on a broader basis.

Fifth, our partnerships with the National Domestic Violence Hotline and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center have had immediate positive results. The Hotline continues to experience increased call volume and our financial support has allowed it to hire an additional 10 new full-time advocates, and 10 more will be hired by the end of next week. This will allow the Hotline to answer another 600-800 calls per day. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center has reached out to all of its coalitions to inform them of the NFL’s grant, which will support local hotlines in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and four U.S. territories.

Many clubs have responded to the materials that were distributed to all clubs regarding resources in your communities related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and driving under the influence. Anna Isaacson and Deana Garner are available to discuss any questions you may have on these topics or materials. We will continue consulting with leading outside experts, law enforcement and judicial professionals, religious and business leaders, academics and players, both current and retired. As we do so, we will continue to provide you with information and look forward to a thorough discussion of these issues at the upcoming league meeting.

The question here is whether this was actually sent out to the media for distribution before it went to the 32 NFL teams. It’s nothing more than a repeat of Goodell’s talking points during his press conference last week. It’s also a representation of the NFL believing that the general public is ignorant enough to believe that this was a memo solely meant for teams around the league itself.

It reads as a press release from a league that’s on the heels when it comes to its PR perception. There is no real new information provided. And there is absolutely nothing here that suggests the NFL is working behind-the-scenes on creating a different environment within the footbal world itself.

Word of advice, Mr Goodell. Maybe add something of importance to the “memo” you are sending out to 32 teams around the league, especially if that memo (much like this one) is meant to actually be sent to the top editor’s at every major sports site in the world.

Photo: USA Today