Sponsorship Woes Hit NFL

By James Jackson

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One of the main problems the NFL is having right now with players is domestic violence and abuse. With the constant growth of role models in the league, parents and fan are growing concerned. Since 2000, 85 out of 214 NFL player arrests were from domestic violence.

With the recent charges, people are starting to feel that game suspensions are not enough punishment for players. With the recent trend of abuse in the league, sponsors are getting unhappy with the form of punishment and are starting to threaten to take money away.

Major sponsors, like Visa and Pepsi, have reported that if this continues and the punishment is not to a higher standard that they will leave.  Nike has even taken it a step further. They have pulled all Adrian Peterson jerseys and merchandise. They have also taken his foundation offline, which they were sponsoring.

The main question now is should the sponsors threaten the NFL for the players’ decisions. Basically, should the sponsors leave because players can’t control themselves? Is this the league’s fault when they clearly have rules in place against this?  I honestly don’t think sponsors should take money from the NFL because players don’t know how to act.

We are talking about professionals who know that this is a business. Professional players such as Adrian Peterson who are role models to millions of youth and college players around the country. The NFL shouldn’t have to teach their players right from wrong. The players should know.

The average age of a NFL player is 27. This means that players are old enough to know right from wrong and how to conduct themselves as adults. Especially players that know they are house hold role models such as Ray Rice.

I as a fan am sad to say that Ray Rice was one of my favorites. I feel that if he was a regular person, he would be in jail right now. I feel the front office of the league should not be penalized for this. Sponsors should punish players by making them pay some type of fee for hurting their brand.

Also from a financial stand point, some of these sponsors would lose millions of dollars because football is one of the most popular sports in the country. So I think these threats will just remain threats just to try to get the front office to make better decisions.  Maybe one or two of the smaller sponsors will leave because much is not invested.

I think that the incident is not why sponsors are fed up. I think it is more the media blasting these sponsors so in return the sponsors blast the NFL front office. Just think if 20 million people were constantly bad mouthing you for sponsoring an athlete. You would probably threaten to take sponsor money as well.

With such a wide spread media these days, sponsors don’t want to seem weak. If this happened about five years ago this would not be that big of a deal. Most people wouldn’t have even known that this took place or wouldn’t care honestly. 

The media has blown up the issue with pictures and videos which always makes the situation seem worse. These last couple of cases were resolved months ago with no sponsor threats at all. Most of these problems between the front office and the sponsors came from the videos and pictures leaked on the web.

I do not believe that the sponsors should punish the entire league for the actions of people who know what is right, but still refuse to do it.