Let’s just say that I’m glad I don’t work in the NFL’s PR department this week.
We are all aware of the Ray Rice and Greg Hardy situations, and now we have Adrian Peterson.
Peterson was indicted last week for disciplining his 4 year old son with a switch, and another case of alleged child abuse, involving a different 4 year old son, also surfaced this week. The Minnesota Vikings decided to deactivate Peterson for last week’s game and were applauded for their course of action.
However, after a 30-7 loss to the Patriots, on Monday the Vikings felt it would be best to reinstate Peterson and allow “due process” to play out. That is…until today, when the team reversed course again and decided to add Peterson to the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which pays Peterson his full salary while he is barred from all team facilities/activities until the resolution of his court case.
Though this should have been the case all along, it took a public reprimanding from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, threats from multiple sponsors and Nike suspending Peterson’s contract to make it happen.
People sometimes question the role of public relations, but this week has shown its massive importance. On one hand, it’s forced the NFL to take the appropriate course of action that may not have happened otherwise. On the other, it may be the NFL’s downfall.