Wednesday, September 22, 2010
NFL beginning workplace program
NEW YORK -- The NFL is trying to establish better working environments for all of its teams.
The league is in the process of developing a workplace conduct program in the wake of a locker room incident in which the New York Jets were recently found to have acted unprofessionally toward a female television reporter.
"It is a workplace conduct issue, so that all teams understand what that means in terms of professional conduct in the workplace," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "It's not just dealing with female reporters. We're trying to educate the teams -- not just the players, but also the staffs -- on what it means to have professional conduct in the workplace, including what the legal ramifications are."
Aiello said the program is being led by Robert Gulliver, the league's executive vice president of human resources. The NFL hopes to implement it within the next few weeks. The program, underwritten by Jets owner Woody Johnson, could include verbal, video and online presentations.
"We're looking at different ways to do it so we can make it as effective as possible, and simple to implement," Aiello said. "It might not be 32 different people going to the teams. We're looking at the most effective way to structure this and haven't made any decisions yet."
Aiello said the NFL will also be consulting with the Association for Women in Sports Media.
"AWSM is happy for the opportunity to work with the NFL on ensuring that the locker room is a workable environment for the media during times of access," said Amy Moritz, the organization's president. "Part of our mission is to advocate for women in sports media and to help ensure positive workplace environments and access to equal opportunities. We welcome the chance to help the NFL with this teachable moment."
The Jets will also have a representative from AWSM conduct an educational and awareness session with the team aside from the NFL's program. Moritz said both the Jets and AWSM are still working out details for that meeting.
The NFL's program is the result of its investigation into how the Jets treated TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz at practice and in the locker room on Sept. 11. Commissioner Roger Goodell chastised the team for unprofessional conduct, but said Johnson and his staff acted promptly to correct the situation.