Crisis in the NFL (Commentaries & Recap-UPDATED)


By Nicole Giovia, Contributing Editor,

Throughout the past year, it seems that every week there is a new crisis occurring in the National Football League.  Spousal abuse, child abuse, illegal fire works causing the loss of digits; with problem after problem, the NFL is facing a real PR nightmare.  All the while, Changes have been made behind the scenes in hopes to change the public’s view of the NFL, and its players.

The disaster started with Ray Rice and continued to spiral downward.  Beyond Ray Rice, the NFL faced Adrian Peterson and his child abuse scandal, and Greg Hardy’s domestic violence.  These were just the beginning in a string of domestic violence charges for NFL players.

The latest in the list of seemingly never-ending NFL Crises was #Deflategate.  Turns out, this year’s Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots let air out of nearly all of their footballs, giving them an unfair advantage in the AFC Championship Game. The NFL’s “Golden Boy” Tom Brady was suspended for four games for his part in the scandal, a decision that was overturned by a judge today.

The NFL is in desperate need of some positive PR.  As they face criticism from fans, players and sponsors, the NFL must figure out a way out of the crisis and back into the public’s good graces.  The big question is, what is next? What can the NFL do?  If something doesn’t change fast will the NFL every get back to where they once were?

With this page we will dig deeper into the issues that arise from the most recent developments. You are invited to contribute your comments and opinions.


david-johnson-featuredDeflategate Ruling – Tom Brady & Roger Goodell Need to Score in the Court of Public Opinion

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

One can win in the court of law but still lose in the court of public opinion.  We have just seen this with New England Quarterback Tom Brady.  Click here to read the full post.





#DeflateGate Crisis Management - The NFL's Next Steps#DeflateGate Crisis Management – Next Moves by the NFL & Tom Brady?

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

For the NFL, 2014 was a year of crisis after crisis.  The League and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came under heavy scrutiny and criticism for failing to punish key NFL players guilty of domestic violence. Click here to read the full post.





WTwitter-Chat-Recapill the Patriots Make it to The Superbowl?

Twitter Chat Recap

Welcome to our chat, what will the real PR and marketing successes and crisis be surrounding @SuperBowl 49?  Click Here to read the recap.




nfl-logoWhere is the NFL’s Crisis Communications Plan?

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

Super Bowl Sunday is less then a week away.  Yet rather then discussing the particulars of the game, the sporting world has been arguing about findings that 11 footballs confiscated from the New England Patriots win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game were found to be underinflated by two pounds of air each. Click here to read the full post.




deflategate#Deflate Gate Holds Our Attention More than the Game

By Todd Murphy, Vice President, Universal Information Services

Yes, we’re still talking about Deflate Gate, #DeflateGate, and Super Bowl 49 is less than a week away. What more can be said on this topic? Nothing. But from an image perspective, my company has looked at the past media exposure for most sports and found one common thread. Click here to read the full post.




#Deflategate: Managing the NFL’s Latest Scandal

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

The NFL is facing yet another scandal.  No, it doesn’t concern players and domestic violence. This latest scandal involves the New England Patriots and findings that 11 footballs confiscated from the team’s win over the Colts in the AFC title game were found to be underinflated.  Click here to read the full post.




Robin-Cohn-headshotWhen The Public Cries Foul

By Robin Cohn, Author, The PR Crisis Bible

One has to wonder.  If some man brutally hit and knocked-out the daughter or wife of an NFL team owner or commissioner, do you think they’d let the man go with a slap on the wrist? I don’t think so—or at least I hope not. But it hasn’t happened to them and that emotional distance has let NFL teams focus on business as usual. Like any best selling product, why would anyone want to pull it off the shelf, or in this case the game —until there’s a public out cry?  Click here to read the full post.




Constance-Peak-headshotThe NFL and Respondabilty

By Constance J. Peak is Co-Founder, CFO and Coach at IMPACT Leadership 21

The NFL loves being on the minds of a nation, just not like this.  I’m sure heads are shaking, saying, “Where did it all go wrong?”  There were several missteps made by Roger Goodell in reaction to the Ray Rice incident.  Therein lies the key, he reacted. Click here to read the full post.






Roger Goodell

NFL: An Insult to Women Everywhere

By Steven Fink, President and CEO, Lexicon Communications Corp.

In the face of the worst crisis to confront the NFL in its 94 years of existence, commissioner Roger Goodell held a much-anticipated news conference last Friday and for 45-minutes…said nothing. While the media and women’s organizations and right-minded people everywhere were angered by this performance, some people actually applauded Goodell’s complete lack of substance.  Click here to read the full post.





susan-telllem-headshotThe Spiraling Violence in the NFL

By Susan Tellem, Partner, Tellem Grody PR

Ah. My husband is right in so many ways, including what he calls the over the top worship of football as “the religion of sports.”  Church on Sunday…maybe not.  Football on Sunday TV…most definitely.  If football is about violence, why are we surprised when violence moves from the field to the home?  Click here to read the full post.





susan-young-headshotSaving Face at the NFL: What’s the Cost?

By Susan Young, CEO,  Get in Front Communications, Inc.

I’d like to thank the NFL for bringing the horrific issue of domestic violence to the forefront of our social conversations and values. Maybe lives will be saved. I’d also like to vomit on the NFL for downplaying (actually ignoring) this horrific issue of domestic violence. Maybe the NFL’s face can be saved. But at what expense?  Click here to read the full post.





David E. Johnson, CEO of Strategic Vision, LLCimagesNFL Sponsors: What’s their Crisis Management Role?

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

Another day has passed and another NFL player has been arrested with domestic violence charges – Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer.  This comes as the NFL is still reeling from the public relations damage of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and the admission in court documents that nearly a third of its players could end up with brain damage.  Click here to read the full post.



steven.fink.featuredNFL in Crisis: Where are the X’s and O’s?

By Steven Fink, President and CEO, Lexicon Communications Corp.

The crisis that is engulfing the NFL is so predictable that it barely holds my professional interest as a crisis manager, and yet, like a large segment of America, I watch it the way you slow down on the highway and watch the mangled wreck of a fatal car crash pushed to the shoulder: horrifying, but riveting nevertheless. Click here to read the full post.





nfl-logoNFL Crisis Management: Losing in the Court of Public Opinion

By David E. Johnson, CEO, Strategic Vision, LLC

The NFL continues to be battered in the court of public opinion.  Last week it was the Ray Rice saga and the “what did NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell know and when did he know it questions.’  This week it is outrage over Minnesota Viking Adrian Peterson who is facing criminal charges for spanking his four-year old son with a wooden stick that left welts. Click here to read the full post.





NFL-crisis-managementThe NFL: Game Plan To Improve Future “Performance

By Brian Braudis, Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant 

The near term is likely to get bumpy as the NFL begins to implement its new domestic violence policy.  Prevention is typically easier than rebuilding but nonetheless; the NFL finds itself facing unwanted attention and pressure to make changes. It is sure to get even more unpleasant. As one of my college professors would say, “If you fail to initiate change yourself, a change much harder and much uglier will be thrust upon you.” Click here to read the full post.





Ray Rice scandalThe Ray Rice Scandal: A Crisis Communications Analysis

Editor’s Note: The Ray Rice Scandal was handled poorly on all fronts: from the way the team reacted and blamed the victim, to the seemingly soft punishment by the NFL to Ray Rice himself briefly apologizing then quickly moving on. Not only is his image inevitably tarnished, but the NFL, Team and even “supporters” will be left to pick up the pieces. With this page we will dig deeper into the issues that now arise from the most recent developments. You are invited to contribute your comments and opinions.  Click here to read the full post.






Tom Brady Deflate-Gate: Federal Judge Throws Out NFL Star’s Suspension

Another Twist in the “Deflate-Gate” Scandal as the NFL Look Set to Appeal Brady’s Ban Being Quashed

Tom Brady Wins the Long Game

Greg Cote: Tom Brady Wins Big; NFL, Commissioner Roger Goodell Lose Even More

How Roger Goodell Became the Most Powerful Man in American Sports

P.R. Chief Paul Hicks Leaves the NFL

Roger Goodell Isn’t Going Anywhere, But A Changing of Guard is Underway


Before The Decision:

Deflategate: 10 Things to Know About Latest Patriots Controversy/Scandal

Effects Of Inflation: Once Again, We’re Talking About Football

Deflategate Fallout: Lack of Candor Could End Up Biting Patriots, Belichick

#Deflategate: Blame it on the Rain, Or Is There No Defense for Bill Belichick and the Patriots This Time?

Deflategate: What NFL Players Are Saying About Patriots’ Controversy

Time for Patriots to Embrace Deflategate, Hate



Making Changes in the NFL:




NFL Owner Admits League’s New Domestic Violence Policy Is A Public Relations Ploy

Angry NFL Fans Flock to Product

Drew Brees Questions NFL’s Knee-Jerk Policy Changes and Fear of PR Hits

Roger Goodell Shows He Hasn’t Changed With New Personal Conduct Policy

NFLPA Criticizes “Unilateral” Imposition of Personal Conduct Policy

TEXAS VIEW: Goodell Must Go for NFL to Move Ahead

Why So Serious, Roger Goodell?


The Crisis Escalates:


NFL in Crisis – A Lack of Leadership in Raising Star Athletes

WATCH: NFL Crisis Mocked In Saturday Night Live Cold Open

NFL Executives Insist Roger Goodell’s Job is Safe Despite Crisis, Chaos

Jameis Winston Suspension Increased By Florida State After Vulgar, Misogynistic Outburst

Roger Goodell Press Conference: ‘I Got It Wrong’ about Ray Rice Domestic Violence Incident

Hundreds of Baltimore Ravens Fans Form HALF-MILE Long Line to Swap Their Ray Rice Jerseys

White House: NFL Needs ‘To Get A Handle On’ Domestic Violence Issues

Assault Charges Add to N.F.L.’s Off-Field Turmoil NFL Crises

Adrian Peterson Crisis Threatens NFL’s Lifeblood

Adrian Peterson Child Abuse Case Is Latest NFL Crisis

Cris Carter In Tears: Adrian Peterson Mustn’t Play After Child Abuse

NFL’s Next Ray Rice Crisis is Already Here with Greg Hardy, Panthers–panthers-033425803.html

Greg Hardy Inactive for Panthers Against Lions, Defensive Lineman Found Guilty of Domestic Assault Will Still Be Paid

If There Were a Greg Hardy Video…
Jonathan Dwyer Arrested, Deactivated





The League and it’s Leaders…




Packers CEO Mark Murphy Talks About Current NFL Crisis

NFL Crisis Could Hinder Growth of Female Fan Base to NFL: Fix Your Domestic Abuse Problem. Now. and Homophobia in the NFL: Is America’s Crisis of Masculinity Playing Out in Its Favorite Sport? Mike Lupica on NFL’s PR Crisis: Credibility of the League is Suffering Review: NFL PR Effort Is as Laughable as Its Morals Day Reports: Off-the-Field Violence
NFL Bungles Crisis Management in Ray Rice Case
The Management Style Of The NFL Has Turned Into A Grease Fire Bad: The Economics, Sociology, And Psychology Of Law-Breaking Behavior By NFL Players on Peterson Could Hurt Commissioner More than Rice Case NFL Scandal Shows Why You Shouldn’t Get Your News from the PR Dept. The Elite NFL Media Still Be Stooges After The Ray Rice Scandal? Brand Takes a Battering But Remains ‘Unbreakable’: Experts

The NFL is Scrambling for Some Good-News Daylight Like a Frantic Quarterback

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