Article Image
What Employers Should Learn from NFL “Deflategate” Scandal

Thursday, November, 5, 2015

According to an article written by Rich Meneghello and featured in DJC Oregon, employees have much to learn from the NFL’s Deflategate scandal involving the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady.


Brady’s four-game suspension was overturned before the season began by a federal judge. The league had imposed the suspension on Brady following allegations the quarterback had deflated footballs to make them easier to throw.


The judge had several reasons for undermining the NFL and if you own a business or are in a position of authority within a business, Meneghello points out you should take note.


For starters, businesses need to be sure employees know the company rules. One of the reasons the suspension was overturned was that Brady had not been informed he could face suspension for violating equipment regulations.


Discipline must also be applied consistently to all employees. The judge believed there were inconsistent application of equipment rules and pointed to two examples in the past when teams had been accused of manipulating equipment, but nobody had been suspended. Teams were fined in both cases, but no suspensions were levied.


Punishments must also fit the crime. The judge reviewed Brady’s lay both with and without the deflated balls and determined that because he performed better with approved footballs, there was no reason why the suspension should have been so severe.


Finally, it is important to note that arbitration is still considered sacred and this decision to overturn the decision is more the exception. The problem in this case was the person overseeing the ruling – NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Had the decision come from a completely neutral source, there’s a chance it might have stood.