Should an employer try to control employees’ after-hours lives to make them act more responsibly?
"The image-conscious National Football League is cracking down on players’ off-field behavior with a new personal conduct policy, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, has NFL teams hiring former FBI agents and police officers to spy on players.
Video surveillance cameras in locker rooms. Guards posted in hotel hallways to ensure players don’t sneak out. Bed checks.
The current efforts to manage the morals of pro-football stars include the Seattle Seahawks declaring an entire downtown entertainment district off-limits to team members, and the Denver Broncos’ security chief wrangling a network of dozens of bartenders and bouncers who call him when players show up, divulging details of the women they’re with and how much they’ve had to drink.
With at least 57 NFL players arrested this year alone, the NFL is determined to protect its image by fining and suspending players not just for committing crimes, but for any act that’s deemed harmful to the NFL’s “integrity and reputation.”
Critics of the crackdown say fines and suspensions are excessive and unfair, particularly in cases where a player has been accused of but not found guilty of a violation of law.
Dallas Cowboy cornerback Pacman Jones was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after an alleged tussle with a bodyguard, even though no arrest or charge was made. He missed six games before recently being allowed back on the playing field. And when someone intentionally spilled a drink on Buffalo Bills offensive lineman Langston Walker at a bar recently, he worried how the NFL would have reacted if the situation had escalated. “When you start not to trust your own organization or governing body,” he said, “who can you trust?”
Tell us what you think: Can personal responsibility be forced or enforced in pro football? Are NFL players being held to an unfair standard of off-field responsibility?