The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Probe Helps Burress


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is entirely within his rights to determine Plaxico Burress's punishment before a judge weighs in. Just like in Catholic grade school when a nun caught you stealing surplus Sprite out of the storage closet (oops, TMI) the person at the top is entirely within their rights to hand down a judgment when the facts of the case are not in dispute. Burress carried a loaded gun into a public place and he possessed no valid permit to carry such a weapon. His actions endangered himself and everyone else in the club at the time.

Goodell is actually HELPING Burress
by initiating a probe. Right now, the former Giants wide receiver is without a team. The NFL's move to start an investigation puts Burress one step closer to a resolution, as far as the league is concerned, on this matter. That provides any potential team with the clarity they need to decide if Plax fits into their plans this season.

It's a shame that I have to rely on the commissioner of the NFL for swift action when a high profile figure does something this brazen and reckless. How can we get Roger Goodell to take care of other common sense matters like telling Brett Favre "enough already," offering to buy Bill Belichick a sweatshirt with sleeves and putting a gag order on Terrell Owens for the season? Hey not ALL speech is protected.

Goodell has earned very high marks for being swift and decisive but the months ahead are sure to test his approval ratings. At some point, a more sympathetic case will emerge that looks nothing like what we're seeing with Michael Vick, Adam Jones, Donte' Stallworth or Burress. Goodell has done a good job of articulating his decisions but he will have to continue to do so as more situations, and extenuating circumstances, surface.

Some folks don't like the "new NFL" and others have criticized the overly harsh penalties that have been handed down compared to the same offenses under the previous leadership. But Goodell has been consistent and if we end up with fewer gun-toting athletes in bars, then that's the price you pay for the privilege of playing in the NFL.

By Jason Maloni  |  June 29, 2009; 3:25 PM ET  | Category:  Crime , Michael Vick , NFL , Plaxico Burress , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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