Sport: James Saxon case proves that P.R. drives the Personal Conduct Policy

Cardinals assistant James Saxon put on leave after news of domestic battery charges

  Cardinals assistant James Saxon put on leave after news of domestic battery charges James Saxon, the running backs coach for the Arizona Cardinals, is facing domestic battery charges in Indiana stemming from an incident in May.Saxon, 56, was visiting a woman in the Indianapolis area on May 7 when they got into an argument at a Costco that escalated upon returning to her home, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case. The woman told police that in the course of the argument, which took place with two young children present, Saxon pushed her with his forearm, causing her to fall backwards into a garage door, according to court records obtained by USA TODAY Sports on Friday.

  James Saxon case proves that P.R. drives the Personal Conduct Policy © Provided by NBC Sports

On Monday, Judge Sue L. Robinson accused the NFL of reacting too strongly to public opinion in the administration of the Personal Conduct Policy. She failed to realize that public opinion drives the entire policy.

The policy exists as a mechanism for empowering the league to take action against players and others who get in trouble while away from work. For most employers, off-duty behavior isn’t the employer’s concern. But the NFL has made such issues its concern, because the public expects that action will be taken against those who potentially squander the “privilege” of being associated with The Shield by getting in trouble when not operating under its auspices.

Grant Enfinger powers to dramatic Truck Series victory at IRP

  Grant Enfinger powers to dramatic Truck Series victory at IRP It was a magical night for Grant Enfinger Friday in Indiana, winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ playoff-opening TSport 200 at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. With nine laps remaining, an on-track spin left the most important decision of the night up to the No. 23 ThorSport Racing crew chief Jeff Hensley with nine […]That late caution mixed up the field with a majority of the leaders pitting. John Hunter Nemechek rolled the dice and decided to stay out, leading the field on the restart with three laps remaining.

Still, the Personal Conduct Policy entails a bit of a P.R. balancing act for the league. It’s one thing to act when an off-field situation has been heavily covered, discussed, and scrutinized, like the Deshaun Watson case. When someone gets in trouble and the media doesn’t notice, the league has to choose between acting — and therefore making a non-story into a story — or letting sleeping dogs lie.

A perfect example of this dynamic comes from the NFL’s handling of Cardinals running backs coach James Saxon. On Friday, it was reported for the first time that he was arrested in May on domestic battery charges. After the report emerged, the Cardinals places Saxon on paid administrative leave, at the recommendation of the league.

This timeline caused many to infer that either Saxon hadn’t told the Cardinals about the situation or the Cardinals hadn’t told the league. That’s not the case; as coach Kliff Kingsbury told reporters on Friday, the team knew about the arrest when it happened, and the team reported it to the league at that time.

LeBron James has productive, informative meeting with Rob Pelinka, Darvin Ham

  LeBron James has productive, informative meeting with Rob Pelinka, Darvin Ham James is finalizing a destination to host the team’s annual mi nicamp prior to training camp, with San Diego being the likely landing space over Las Vegas, sources said. He’s hoping to build a better rapport with teammates before entering the 2022-23 season. The meeting was deemed productive and informative. Pelinka made his feelings clear that he wants James to retire as a Laker and promised to provide him with every resource possible to compete for a championship each year he’s with the organization, sources said.

The league, per the team, didn’t recommend administrative leave until today, after the report emerged.

The implication is obvious. The league didn’t want to create a story out of the Saxon arrest when no such story existed. If he’d been placed on administrative leave at the time, someone would have asked, “Hey, where’s Coach Saxon?” By deliberately waiting, no one knew. Which kept the league from having to deal with a negative story about a coach being charged with domestic battery.

There’s a certain amount of hypocrisy in the league’s decision to take no action until it has to. The NFL will discipline employees and teams who fail to report incidents immediately. But the NFL will reserve the right to hide such incidents from the public, if they’re otherwise not generally known. Then, once someone reports on the issue, the league will do what it should have already done — but what it didn’t want to do because it preferred having no one know about the arrest.

James Saxon case proves that P.R. drives the Personal Conduct Policy originally appeared on Pro Football Talk

Jalen Rose on LeBron James: 'The Lakers know he ain't leaving now' .
Right now, LeBron has just one more year on his current deal. Th is means that unless he signs an extension, The King is going to be a free agent again next summer. If you ask former NBA player turned ESPN analyst Jalen Rose, however, he is adamant that LeBron isn’t going anywhere. According to Rose, the Lakers know that they’re going to be able to keep LeBron in Hollywood beyond this season because of his family (h/t Michael Macasero of sportskeeda): “They know he ain’t leaving now,” Rose said. “So it don’t even matter what happens with the contract.

See also