The NFL Personal Conduct Policy: Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On

iverson talkin bout practice
We Talkin’ ‘Bout Dress Codes?

Of all the rules Commissioner David Stern enforced in his thirty years presiding over the NBA, his dress code legislation was one of the most criticized.

At one point, too many players began showing up to games or press conferences looking a little too hip-hop for the Commissioner’s tastes.  Concerned about the image of his league, Stern enforced a dress code.

For better or for worse, players now dress up in suits and ties, except of course for Tim Duncan who hasn’t worn a tie in his life.  Some players, like Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook realized the marketing potential of this move and have used it to their advantage.

In Stern’s defense, he didn’t require players to wear a suit and tie, just a collared shirt.  After all, he had a league to protect.  Yet we still blast the ever-blastable Stern for his rule’s racial overtones, as if a black man had never been asked to wear a suit before.

arenas gun
Bang Bang, Gilbert

Stern would not tolerate anything he deemed a threat to the health of the league he governed.  For example, firearms are not allowed in NBA locker rooms.  So when Gilbert Arenas violated that rule, drawing an allegedly unloaded gun on a teammate then later joked about it, he was suspended for fifty games.  When Latrell Sprewell choked PJ Carlessimo, the league suspended him for 68 games.  When Ron Artest charged into the stands to “accost” a fan, he was only allowed to play again after a 73 game suspension.

Misrepresent yourself or the league and you would find out just how stern Stern could be.

Even Major League Baseball has finally put its foot down on the drug use that has plagued the league for years.  Violate the league’s drug policy this time around and you’ll be suspended for the post-season.  More than anything else they’ve tried so far, that potential punishment is bound to get players off the juice.

Employers have rules.  Break them and you will be penalized.

These Arms Were Made For Beatin', And That's Just What They'll Do
These Arms Were Made For Beatin’, And That’s Just What They’ll Do

On the other hand, the NFL continues to let its players run around like inmates in an asylum.  Ray Rice, who knocked his fiancée unconscious last month, will not be suspended by the league.  And now comes word that the backwards hat-wearing Colin Kaepernick is under suspicion of domestic violence.  In another week, it’ll be somebody else.  Just spin the wheel of misfortune.  We’re already waiting for half these players to buy a damn vowel.

In the Michael Vick case, the NFL let our legal system take matters into its own hands.  Upon his release from prison, the league suspended the unpopular Vick an additional two games just to let fans know they (quite laughably) disapproved of the crimes he had committed.

Why does the NFL refuse to hold its players accountable for its actions off the field?  Why are we rewarding guys by paying them millions of dollars for acting like criminals?  Where are the consequences for their actions?  How long until we as fans grow a conscience and decide we are no longer going to put up with it?  I don’t care if a guy can throw a ball a hundred yards or run faster than the speed of light.  If he’s smacking his wife around, I don’t want to watch him playing football unless it’s in a prison yard.

Goodell, control your employees.  They represent you, your league and your shield.  They can’t stick a needle in their backside but they can take a backhand to their girlfriends?  Be a man and take a stand against this behavior and I promise you it will be for the betterment of the league, just as implementation of a dress code was beneficial for the NBA.

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39 Replies to “The NFL Personal Conduct Policy: Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On”

  1. Pingback: Wild Thing Fantasy Football » The NFL Personal Conduct Policy: Not Worth the Paper It’s Printed On

  2. Is the commissioner responsible for policing his sport or is it a case of him enforcing the rules approved by the owners? Goodell is quite simply the voice of the owners… The same as Stern was and Selig too… Hell a member of the NFL’s owners’ club recently got busted for DUI and felony drug possession right? Heard anything from the NFL about that? They recently had their league meetings… I could have missed it but I don’t recall hearing anything coming out of those meetings about player or owner conduct… Never forget… Money trumps almost everything with these people, players and owner alike but everyone gets their day in court. I can’t see the league doing anything until a verdict is reached. If someone is found guilty then throw the book at them according to how heinous the crime and publicize what the penalties are for each possible crime so there’s no screams of unfairness…

  3. I guess all I’m saying, Dwin, is it’d be nice to see the NFL finally put their foot down.

    It’d at least give us a slight indication that they actually gave a shit.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly Chris… We’ve got front row seats to watch a bunch of grown men who have been pampered all their lives to the point that they believe they’re entitled and that entitlement crosses all sorts of boundaries that us normal folks just aren’t allowed to cross… They put themselves in situations, even after being warned over and over again, that get them in big trouble. And here we are hoping the powers that be make rules to punish the offenders when personal accountability and common sense should rule these situations…

  5. Here’s the deal, Dwin.

    They’re not grown men.

    Keep in mind, at this point in our lives, we’re watching guys younger than us play these games.

    Now regardless, you and I didn’t do the kind of shit these guys are doing. We didn’t have the means. Sure, we were irresponsible at points in our lives and we did shit wrong but not to the extent they are. And if we did, we suffered the consequences.

    Different set of rules, I guess, right?

  6. Which of the four major professional leagues actually gives a $hit to begin with ? Here endeth the lesson for the day ! Nothing else needs to be said ! Stern was all about his image . Goodell is an @sshole , Bettman couldn’t find his own sphincter with the aid of a flashlight and Selig still and will always remain a clueless @ss !

  7. Well said and I concur 100%, especially by starting with the dress code. Now how about Goodell making sure owners like Jim Isray and Jimmy Haslam are also held accountable for their actions…oh right they pay him tens of millions a year to keep his mouth shut, just like a good lawyer should.

  8. There’s more conduct policy that can be found in a whorehouse than can be found in the entire NFL ! The players don’t give a $hit and neither has the union down the years along with the dumb @ss fans who’ve too often given players a pass along with idiots such as Katherine Fernandez-Rundle , DA for Miami Dade County . B#tch gets paid six figures a year and her idea of justice and doing right by the victims’ families are often go for plea deals . See Ray Lewis and Donte Stallworth for proof of that rather itinerant @ssholes who often don’t delve deeper into the issues and actual seek out the information for themselves .

    See link provided here and this bull$hit introduction given by Marco Rubio and you can then realize why the state ‘s justice system is so ##cked up , much like Rubio , himself as another ##king clueless #sshole politician in the state of Florida who represent the state in the US Senate . I mean where else can you find two individuals as clueless as Katherine Fernandez Rundle and Pam Bondi and that is solely based on the fact that they both part of the legal profession within the state but their views and policies are also a damn joke to begin with on a wide range of issues beyond jurisprudence .

  9. David Stern wouldn’t tolerate ? Are you kidding ? The use of marijuana was rampant and widespread in the NBA and he barely chose to address the issue , but there he was , trying to create that family-friendly atmosphere of the NBA among kids . Not only that , during the mid-nineties this ” clown ” then sought to use young African Americans as a jump-off process , to sell the game while visualizing the gang-mentality as a selling point. At that time kids were dying on the streets of LA , Philly , parts of the Bronx because of gang violence .

    How quickly one forgets . Come on Chris , what is up with that ?

    Stern was and will remain a “twat ” ! What did he really ever achieve as the NBA commissioner , other than to ride on Jordan’s coattails and that of Nike , as both the player and company exploded globally ? At peak of his power , David Stern was earning $25 million a year , while seeking to ask the union to pare down their demands for a bigger slice of the NBA’s revenue pie . Nothing like hypocrisy is there !

    Stern having retired , has been given the title of Commissioner Emeritus and an instant induction into the Hall of Fame . There’s meant to be a five year wait for the players but Stern is about to be inducted upon having retired .

  10. All of these idiot journalists and their claims that The Masters will make for great entertainment . Woods not competing due to health issues and now “Lefty ” misses the cut and the contests makes for about as much excitement as having to witness a grandmother butt naked with all of her wrinkles on display . These writers have as much insight on the sport as Deion Sanders or Magic Johnson’s mastery of the English language .

    You cannot blame the manager and players alone , when the owners have a responsibility themselves …

  11. Chris, you know no one crushes God-dell like I do. Idiot sits in his easy chair on Tuesdays and watches film before re-refereeing each game and handing out fines and suspensions from above. I don’t see him as a big a tool for the owners in most cases but here I think he is. He won’t crack down on off field behavior because once you set that precedent with a lesser player and a superstar then messes up you’re going to take them off the field? No. Gotta keep the stars on gridiron. The Rice thing is interesting with half of NFL fans being women. I loved Stern’s dress code…not his biggest fan either but he got a win on this one. You’re getting millions to play a kid’s game…but you don’t have to dress like one. You also don’t have to hit your significant other harder than an opponent on the field of play. Rice should get a year off with no pay.

  12. Al…

    You and I are going to have to continue to agree to disagree on Stern.

    I feel he was far more concerned about the image of his league than his own.

  13. Jedly…

    You’re right. So who’s exempt and who’s not? Are owners held to a different standard? Should they or should they not be?

    I’ve always felt the commissioner of a major sports league shouldn’t just be a representative of the owners but rather have the entire interest of the sport as his primary concern.

  14. Conduct policy in a whorehouse. That’s a good one, Al. Pat yourself on the back.

    Yes, NBA players were smoking weed. That is something that Stern overlooked because everyone in the league was doing it and as long as the players weren’t lighting up blunts in front of fans, Stern let them have that vice. Players union probably had a little something to do with that too.

    I hear Pacquiao fought himself a pretty good fight, redeeming himself against Bradley. So what’s next because we know he and Money May aren’t going to fight each other. Maybe one of these days in a nursing home.

    And yea, today’s final round of the Masters should be a great one to watch. The only question is will it be a no name guy who wins it or someone we’ve seen do it before.

  15. Burnsy…

    Allen Iverson still walks around dressing like he does. I get that’s his image but the guy’s nearing 40. One of these days, he’ll start dressing his age, no?

    And re: Rice, I just wonder what it will take, other than drug use, to get Goodell to suspend someone for his actions off the field.

  16. What sort of message is being sent by the league, when its players are willingly admitting to using weed and then the league itself , is trying to portray a family friendly image ? Also , what was Stern seeking to achieve in 2009 doling out $575 million to twenty teams (monies not from league coffers ) during the midst of an economic downturn while he was earning in excess of $15 million a year and ticket prices were close to an all-time high .

  17. Al…

    I’m pretty sure plenty of the families that support the NBA are comprised of parents that may partake in the occasional marijuana cigarette or have an open enough dialogue with their children to discuss the drug and its use. Keep in mind, it is legal now in some states.

    Are you suggesting that smoking a joint is on a par with an athlete beating his wife?

    I’m okay with Stern letting weed use slide as long as he tackled what most everyone would perceive as more biting issues.

  18. Oh an athlete beating his wife and what seems to be the NBA’s actions in even reprimanding a player after such an action . Be real for once !

    The Masters and the final round became a monotonous bore ! Jordan Speith provided some excitement but nowhere near enough to have fans on the edge of their seats .

    NBA Playoffs can’t come round soon enough after another monotonous regular season within the East in particular. The Heat are proving to be nowhere as dominant as some as had hoped for and now they’re in a dogfight for that number one spot in the conference . Mediocre brand and product brought to you courtesy of the NBA hierarchy . Now we have Adam Silver consulting with .Jerry Colangelo to see how best to improve the NBA ? What does that indicate to you ? If Silver as the newly installed commissioner can’t see what’s wrong with the NBA , having been David Stern’s deputy over the past five years what the ##ck do you think is wrong within that hierarchy (NBA) ?

  19. Personal conduct policies within the four major professional team sports , simply a joke ! The league hierarchies are powerless , and they simply cower at the sight of the respective unions . Here’s something that should hit closer to home in spite of your issue with the NBA and players smoking weed and the image Stern sought to create while also using race as a motif during the nineties for his little facade during that period , which you somehow overlooked .

    Just in case you thought this doesn’t hit closer to home, what is owner , Jeff Vinick suppose to do now, concerning Lightning player Ryan Malone ?

    Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper says Ryan Malone’s DUI, cocaine charges won’t be a distraction

    WASHINGTON — Tampa Bay Lightning coach Jon Cooper does not think left wing Ryan Malone’s DUI and cocaine possession charges will be a distraction to the playoffs-bound team.
    Lightning winger Ryan Malone charged with DUI, possession of cocaine after traffic stop

    “Obviously Ryan is probably a little embarrassed of what’s gone on. He made a poor decision, getting behind the wheel when he had alcohol in his system,” Cooper said before Tampa Bay played its regular-season finale Sunday at the Washington Capitals.

    “But for me, I’ve watched all the good decisions Ryan Malone’s made in his life, and how charitable he’s been and what a staple he’s been in our community in the years he’s been here,” Cooper added. “I hope this one instance doesn’t take away from that, because he’s been a class act for us, on and off the ice.”

    Click on link to read in full.

    This all happened outside the Lightning’s home venue and we all know how the team and organization seeks to portray itself within the locale with its ads . So explain succinctly to me why the athletes’ actions don’t matter and the lack of real action from the hierarchies ?

    Athletes remain far from mature !

  20. The Heat look tired, Al.

    We’ll see if they have another gear or not.

    But hey, that least there’s some intrigue going into the playoffs.

    Re: the Masters this Sunday, Bubba had his game face on. I’m not too sure anyone could have caught him, never mind a 20-year old first time player.

    Pretty bad timing for Malone to get busted for that, going into the playoffs and all. I haven’t heard whether the league will take any action.

    Should we be surprised if/when they don’t?

  21. Which would be worst ? Having a suspected terrorist on your domestic airline flight or the Niners’ Aldon Smith </a. ? How much of a dumb #@ck is that guy ? He's on the fast track to pi#sing away a great NFL career . Who the hell , threatens the TSA ? , much less makes a threat to be bomb a plane while on the concourse of a major domestic airport terminal ? And you think that smoking weed might not have its dangers ? Even if he wasn’t under the influence or stressed out his @ss should face a heavy suspension by the NFL as well having the full weight of the law come down on his dumb mother ##ckin @ss ! I travel out to LAX twice a year on business and that is not one of the places I want to have be, during an emergency lock-down because of a prick such as Aldon Smith .

    The final round of the Masters was a foregone conclusion . The US Open , we’re likely to see a first time winner because I doubt that Mickelson , will have re-found his game in time for the tournament .

    = Bubba Watson should see a fast move up the World Rankings and the Fedex Cup standings after his win.

    So Bob Arum is now making overtures to Mayweather’s people about a proposed mega-fight . Floyd Mayweather does not need Manny Pacquiao at all to legitimize his career at this juncture . . He still has three fights to go in his Showtime six fight deal that will see him net $200 million .

    The Lightning’s Ryan Malone , much like the team won’t be going anywhere this NHL postseason . What a dumb @ss !

  22. The Heat </a. have continually been shaky all season along and the additions of Greg Oden and Michael Beasley have done little to aid the team from a competitive standpoint ., They remain a poor rebounding team and defensively we only see that efficiency (97.4 ppg) in short spurts . In the postseason they cannot afford to be that lax .

    If Wade (D-Wade) is still ailing at the start of the playoffs , do you really expect Bosh to step up and aid LeBron in the scoring ? Chris Bosh can’t be described as being even a streaky player much less the best at his position in the NBA , but yet he’s hyped as being something special .

  23. Yeah, that Aldon Smith story is just weird, Al. I haven’t paid attention to all the details but did he cause a scene with the authorities at the airport? Who the hell does that these days? Sounds like the guy needs to have his head examined… thoroughly.

    I love how the Heat just decided to rest their players and give up the number one seed to Indy. Not that Indy didn’t earn it but look at them now. Now they have to play the winner of Chicago-Brooklyn before even getting to Miami and that’s something Miami didn’t want to have to do. Not that the winner of Washington-Toronto (which I think will be Washington) will be a pushover but Charlotte in the first round? Come on.

    The Heat will be in the Eastern Conference Finals. Can you say the same about the Indiana Pacers?

  24. Al…

    I think the Heat will continue to rest Wade until they need him, which probably won’t be in the series against Charlotte.

    I’m not sure we know the extent of his injuries but it’s safe to say he’s pretty well banged up.

    We’ve seen him suck it up before. I just wanna know how much this guy has left in the tank. His body seems to be wearing down.

    And yes, if you ask me to pick a winner in a Heat-Bulls series, I take Miami. Who do you like in the Chicago-Brooklyn series, that’s bound to be a slugfest?

  25. Wade isn’t banged up so to speak , it’s been the fact he’s been doing way too much “bangin’ by nailin’ Gabrielle Union’s fine @ss (picture inlaid in link ) .

    Your thoughts on Donald Trump being in serious talks to buy the Buffalo Bills ? And since when has Goodell been remotely concerned with a conflict of interest as it regards an NFL owner ? All of a sudden because Trump owns less than 4% of a gaming company , that bears his name , but is in fact owned by his ex wife Ivanka Trump, the league is likely to be concerned ?

    Didn’t Trump actually bring down the USFL because of his idiocy in thinking that the fledgling league could taken on and defeat the NFL at the time ? Donald Trump is an alleged visionary in the way that Joseph Goebbels was seen as a humanitarian .

    Courtesy of NBC Sports

    Click on link to read in full.


    Trump is no more a businessman , than any of the Russian oligarch billionaires , who made their billions by the use of bribes to quicken the sell-off of public assets in Russia . A two-time bankrupt businessman who each time claimed that his misfortune wasn’t of his own making but because of the business climate at the time . What an absolute crock of $hit ! I guess that’s why he attended Wharton School of Business , because he learned absolutely #$ck all there !

    If interested ? NFL & soccer tie-tin

    You cannot blame the manager and players alone , when the owners have a responsibility themselves …

    MLB, NBA & NFL

    Highlights, low-lights and no lights at all …………..

    tophatal …………………

  26. Al…

    I’m pretty sure Wade’s relationship with Gabrielle Union is not the reason he’s not 100% physically able to go in these playoffs.

    Look, if Trump wants to buy a team, then I say let him. I wonder if the owners club will vote to allow him entry and I wonder, if they do, what kind of role he’ll take in the organization. I definitely see him as the more Jerry Jones, meddling type. But hey, can the Buffalo Bills do any worse than they’ve done in recent years?

  27. Have you looked Union’s body lately ? What doesn’t hurt you doesn’t necessarily kill you , paraphrasing as such ., but it’s either her or Wade does really have a serious injury ? His last two years in the NBA has seen a marked decline with a few breakout games and that has been it . Do you believe my summation to be incorrect concerning Dwyane Wade ?

    What’s going on with the Rays at present ? Way too inconsistent and now they’ve lost Matt Moore to season ending surgery . Still believe they’re capable of winning the AL East even with his loss in the pitching rotation ?

    Do you actually believe Trump to be that astute a businessman ? He’s the same dumb @ss that brought the USFL to its knees with his idiocy in thinking that fledgling league could take on and beat the NFL at its own game . How the ##ck and why would anyone he could bring anything fresh to the Buffalo Bills , other than his comb-over and Melania Trump .

    tophatal ……..

  28. Chris

    The Bills in recent years have been mismanaged and their recent draft classes (five years) have been a complete bust on so many levels . The team in its current guise is a mess .

    Odds on ‘melo remaining with the Knicks given their financial predicament and little money with regard to the cap and no picks in the first round of this or next season’s draft ? It seems the assurances that Phil Jackson thought he had , are not as first thought with the player and the player’s agent suggesting otherwise . Damn !

    Who do you believe will be the # pick in the NBA Draft ? Jabari Parker , Andrew Wiggins , Julius Randle , Joel Embiid (best big man [center]) , Aaron Gordon or Shabazz Napier ?

  29. Chris

    Your thoughts, on this disturbing story concerning the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig ? If true , it won’t sit well with the Cuban community nationwide and in particular within cities such as Miami , Tampa , Los Angeles and New York .,

    Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig mum on chronicled journey to U.S.

    By Jorge L Ortiz , USA Today

    SAN FRANCISCO – Yasiel Puig has long remained silent regarding the details of his defection from Cuba, and that didn’t change when news reporters approached him before the Los Angeles Dodgers took on the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday.

    He declined to talk to them.

    PUIG: Coming-to-America story is dark tale

    But there’s a lot more information publicly available about Puig’s departure now, and the account as told by LA Magazine’s Jesse Katz is both fascinating and disturbing.

    In a thoroughly reported story that required trips to Cuba, Arizona and Florida, Katz tells how Puig was smuggled into Mexico by members of a drug cartel who cut a deal with a Miami businessman – described as “a small-time crook” – who was promised 20 percent of Puig’s future earnings.

    The story, based on interviews and court records, also delves into the accusations that Puig snitched on potential defectors to the Cuban government, for which he has been sued in the U.S. The lawsuit is pending.

    Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he had not read the lengthy story, but had heard snippets about it.

    “We’re on the baseball side of it,” Mattingly said. “I don’t know what went on or how it happened. I don’t know if the article knows what happened, because I haven’t heard Yasiel say anything about it. I don’t think it’s my place to talk about it.”

    Puig became an overnight sensation last season with his daredevil playing style and abundant skills, which sparked life into the Dodgers and helped them go from a last-place team when he arrived in June to the NL West champions.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Messed up to say the least.

  30. If Chicago can show the form that they have shown all season long , then I would have to take them over the Nets in six games ! Bulls took their season series with some ease .

    Aldon Smith apologizes for his stupidity, but Al Qaeda have been sending him recruiting letters , asking him to convert to Islam and take up their cause .

    Will Josh Freeman be able to each Eli Manning anything at this juncture ?

    In the midst of doing a piece on the idiocy of the Redskins being under fire and being asked to change the name of the franchise . I think it rather idiotic of Native Americans to show their outrage concerning this issue , when they need to be dealing with far more pressing issues on tribal lands and the lack of assistance provided by the DOI and other deep-seated heated issues concerning Native American Indians ! The biggest hypocrite in this might just be former PGA Tour golfer Notah Begay III himself a Native American (former Stanford classmate of Tiger Woods) and his stance , as up until three months ago , the Washington Redskins’ foundation assisted the former golfer and his charitable organization , in providing them with financial aid and other social services , paid for , directly and indirectly , by the franchise or team owner M , Dan Snyder .

    tophatal ………

  31. Al…

    Where to begin, where to begin.

    First of all, you know I was high on the Rays but losing both Cobb and Moore is going to hurt. And just out of curiosity, when the hell are they going to fire their damn hitting coach? This team still cannot put the bat on the damn ball.

    Re: Trump, are you saying he’d be a definite bust as owner of the Bills? Remember, now is the time to buy. How many years does Brady have left in him? Eventually, the Pats will stop owning the division and it will be up for grabs. So I say start building now.

    Bizarre Puig story for sure but honestly, has anyone who’s come over from Cuba had a normal story to tell?

    Freeman threaten Eli? I think not. But isn’t Eli going to be out the first six weeks of the season? That’s why they’re looking for a backup, no?

    I’m sure Milwaukee Bucks fans are happy with the sale. That means they’re staying put, right? Plus, they can’t get much damn worse.

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