NFL Conduct Policy
We get a lot of questions about what the Player Conduct Policy for the NFL looks like; we were forwarded a copy for review. See it now:
PERSONAL CONDUCT POLICY
All persons associated with the NFL are required to avoid "conduct
detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the National Football
League." This requirement applies to players, coaches, other team employees,
owners, game officials and all others privileged to work in the National Football
For many years, it has been well understood that rules promoting lawful,
ethical, and responsible conduct serve the interests of the League, its players, and
fans. Illegal or irresponsible conduct does more than simply tarnish the offender. It
puts innocent people at risk, sullies the reputation of others involved in the game,
and undermines public respect and support for the NFL.
Standard of Conduct:
While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct,
and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the
standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher. It is
not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee
of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to
conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the
League is based, and is lawful.
Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct
detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result
in conviction of a crime. Discipline may be imposed in any of the following
? Criminal offenses including, but not limited to, those involving: the use or
threat of violence; domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse; theft
and other property crimes; sex offenses; obstruction or resisting arrest;
disorderly conduct; fraud; racketeering; and money laundering;
? Criminal offenses relating to steroids and prohibited substances, or
substances of abuse;
? Violent or threatening behavior among employees, whether in or outside the
Possession of a gun or other weapon in any workplace setting, including but
not limited to stadiums, team facilities, training camp, locker rooms, team
planes, buses, parking lots, etc., or unlawful possession of a weapon outside
of the workplace;
? Conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of
another person; and
? Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the
NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.
Evaluation, Counseling and Treatment:
Apart from any disciplinary action, any person arrested, charged or
otherwise appearing to have engaged in conduct prohibited under this policy will be
required to undergo a formal clinical evaluation. Based on the results of that
evaluation, the person may be encouraged or required to participate in an education
program, counseling or other treatment deemed appropriate by health professionals.
The evaluation and any resulting counseling or treatment are designed to provide
assistance and are not considered discipline; however, the failure to comply with
this portion of the policy shall itself constitute a separate and independent basis for
Upon learning of conduct that may give rise to discipline, the League will
direct an investigation, which may include interviews and information gathering
from medical, law enforcement, and other relevant professionals. The League will
promptly advise the NFLPA of any investigation of a player, as well as of the results
of the investigation. As appropriate, the employee will also have the opportunity,
represented by counsel and/or a union official, to address the conduct at issue.
Upon conclusion of the investigation, the Commissioner will have full authority to
impose discipline as warranted.
Discipline may take the form of fines, suspension, or banishment from the
League and may include a probationary period and conditions that must be satisfied
prior to or following reinstatement. The specifics of the disciplinary response will
be based on the nature of the incident, the actual or threatened risk to the
participant and others, any prior or additional misconduct (whether or not criminal
charges were filed), and other relevant factors.
Unless the case involves significant bodily harm, a first offense will generally
not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding (or until
the investigation is complete in the case of employee or workplace misconduct).
With respect to subsequent violations, the Commissioner may impose
discipline on an expedited basis for persons who have been assigned a probationary
period. In such cases, the timing and nature of the discipline will be determined by
the Commissioner based on several factors including but not limited to: the severity
of the initial charge and later charge; the facts underlying the later charge; the
length of time between the initial offense and later charge; and the player or
employee's compliance with counseling and other programs. Following the final
disposition of the charge, the employee will be eligible to apply for prompt
reinstatement under appropriate circumstances.
Following the imposition of discipline, the affected person will have the right
to a prompt hearing, per Article XI of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and the
NFL Constitution and Bylaws, to be conducted by the Commissioner or his
designee. In cases involving players, the NFLPA will be entitled to participate in the
Any person suspended indefinitely or for at least one year may seek
reinstatement beginning one month prior to the one-year anniversary of the
suspension. As part of his consideration of the application for reinstatement from a
player, the Commissioner will seek the views of the NFLPA, Player Advisory
Council, and may consult medical, law enforcement, and other relevant
Covered Persons--This policy applies to all players under contract; all
coaches; all game officials; all full-time employees of the NFL, NFL clubs, and all
NFL-related entities; all rookie players once they are selected in the NFL college
draft; and all undrafted rookie players, unsigned veterans who were under contract
in the prior League Year, and other prospective employees once they commence
negotiations with a club concerning employment. Clubs are strongly encouraged to
communicate this policy to independent contractors and consultants and to make
clear that violations of this policy will be grounds for terminating a business
"Disposition of a Criminal Proceeding"--includes an adjudication of guilt or
admission to a criminal violation; a plea to a lesser included offense; a plea of nolo
contendere or no contest; or the acceptance of a diversionary program, deferred
adjudication, disposition of supervision, or similar arrangements.
"Probationary Period"-- Persons found to have violated this policy may as a
condition of discipline be placed on a period of probation as determined by the
Commissioner. If, during the period of probation, the person is involved in any
incident that violates this policy, the Commissioner may at his discretion based on
the nature of the original and subsequent incidents elect to take immediate
disciplinary action and make any appropriate adjustments following a full
investigation and resolution of the matter.
Reporting of Incidents--The League must be advised promptly of any incident
that may be a violation of this policy, and particularly when any conduct results in
an arrest or other criminal charge. Players and club employees must report any
such incident to the club, which must then report it to NFL Security at (800) NFL1099.
Failure to report an incident will constitute conduct detrimental and will be
taken into consideration in making disciplinary determination under this policy.
Clubs are also required to report incidents that come to their attention.
Assistance--Players and employees are encouraged to consult with their
Player Development Directors or with the League's Player and Employee
Development Department to obtain access to educational, counseling, and other
programs and resources that will help in avoiding misconduct that may result in