Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’


NFL’s new Personal Conduct Policy

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

Poor (salary $44 million) NFL Commissioner Goodell. He has been castigated for his inconsistency of applying standards across teams and individual players, plagued by accusations that team owners interfered with criminal investigations, and hounded, and eventually reversed, by critics for overstepping his authority when leveling draconian punishment against domestic abuser Ray Rice. His incomplete response to the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal was to mandate a lame 1 hour “education session” held in each team’s locker room about respect. Half-ass solutions seem to be the NFL’s history.

In the aftermath of a spate of domestic violence incidents by NFL players and the assembly of a team of external experts in DV prevention comes a new NFL Personal Conduct Policy.

As the expert called in to assist Jonathan Martin’s legal team and to advise Ted Wells, the NFL’s investigator of the abuse levied by three of Martin’s teammates, I heard repeatedly the NFL mantra of “Protect the Shield.” The NFL logo is a shield of sorts and everyone affiliated with the NFL knows that the league of owners takes extraordinary steps to protect its commercial brand, often at the expense of its players without whom there would be no league.

Guided by the “Protect the Shield” principle, NFL commissioners and executives historically ignore player safety for the sake of the game. Witness tthe 2014 settlement of the lawsuit with thousands of former player-plaintiffs accusing the NFL of ignoring known neurological health hazards to which they were exposed causing them to suffer CTE. The settlement temporarily silenced complainants and allowed the NFL to roll into the 2014 season without the cloud of litigation overhead.

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Posted in Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Related Phenomena, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Ray Rice as victim of domestic violence strains credulity

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Ray Rice, the most visible perpetrator of partner violence in recent times, is now pivoting to a new explanation — he was the victim.

Does it happen? Yes. In fact, males are sometimes victimized, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics report Intimate Partner Violence in the United States. See the graphic. It’s just that it is extremely rare.

If the football player was abused by his then-girlfriend, then why did he agree to stay with her, eventually marrying her? What is wrong with him? Why was he drawn to such a violent woman? Didn’t he know there are plenty of alternative relationships out there waiting to happen for him? Blah, blah, blah — all the same folderol and stupid questions that abused women must endure.

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The NFL Shield: Tarnished Symbol of Corporate CYA

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The NFL — the No Effin’ Liability league for the boys of football — has struck again. As a multi-billion dollar enterprise (owned by revered American entrepreneurs — celebrities themselves who own celebrity labor), the league of owners of American professional football has shown itself to be incredibly inept. Their mouthpiece, the “commish” Roger Goodell seems driven solely to protect the NFL brand. He certainly is not a competent CEO though paid $44.2 million per year to be incompetent. I’m not sure he could work the drive-thru at McDonalds — it’s too fast moving and accuracy matters.

You see Roger got caught crafting corporate policy in a very public way, then revising it to be more punitive publicly, only to get caught acting unilaterally and reflexively, all the while completely ignoring his own stated “policy.” The man doesn’t know “strategery,”willing to act without thinking.

Ray Rice, star player for the Baltimore Ravens, was caught on a New Jersey casino hotel security video entering an elevator with this then-fiance, Janay Palmer. That same camera caught him dragging an unconscious Janay from the elevator minutes later.

Conclusion to be drawn by any reasonable person: Rice struck Palmer in the elevator. Local law enforcement, the district attorney and the judge seemed to believe an unknown third person must have assaulted her in the elevator. Charges were dismissed. The NFL also engaged in such magical thinking. Goodell was allowed to assume that if the courts didn’t care to protect Palmer and jail Rice, the Ravens and NFL had little to worry about. And the only worry for the team and league is LEGAL liability. Just protect the shield, baby (tip to Al Davis).

Goodell decided that he had better punish Rice in some way. He grazed him with a 2-game suspension. Even within the NFL’s hierarchy of punishments, the penalty was light as compared to a pot smoking 6-game suspension. The inequity was obvious to all immediately but not to Goodell. Weeks later, he publicly declared that a domestic violence first-time violation committed by a player (nothing said about the distinction between proof, accusation, arrest, indictment or conviction) would draw a 6-game penalty. What to do with Rice retroactively? Suddenly two new domestic violence cases emerged with San Francisco and Carolina players. What to do? Goodell waited.

Into the breach strode that paragon of journalism, TMZ, with the missing link — video from the elevator. At last, Goodell could see what had actually happened between the video sequences taken outside the elevator. He rapidly, within the day, compelled the Ravens team to fire Rice and the NFL suspended Rice indefinitely (which in the past has always been the route to redemption and restoral of playing privileges).

Goodell expected praise. Instead, there have been calls for his head. ESPN talking head, attorney, and former NFL quarterback Steve Young opined that the Ravens should have acted like a responsible corporate employer and sent Rice home without pay pending an investigation.

I’ll let ESPN’s Keith Olbermann explain why Goodell and the Ravens and county officials screwed up. He calls for mass resignations. Obermann says Goodell “comforted the violent and afflicted the victim” and is an “enabler of men who beat women.”

As an institution, the NFL is screwy. The people in charge seem incapable of owning the responsibility for what they have done. It’s all deflection and denial. Just protect the shield, baby.

It’s corporate CYA!

Coming: Part II — The NFL’s Personnel Problem

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, NFL: Domestic Violence, The New America | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Who you gonna believe? The “2 sides” of a workplace bullying story

Thursday, September 5th, 2013

Bully apologists always claim there are two sides to every workplace bullying story. That’s true. But they assume that both sides are factually and morally equivalent. That’s not true. Just as in domestic violence cases, the abuser does have a side. He (thinks he deserves and) “needs” to be free to express himself with physical aggression against his partner, even feeling murder is justified because “if I can’t have her, no one will.” That certainly is a side, an opinion and a strongly-held belief.

Contrast that irrational view with the other side, the perspective of the abused partner. Her needs stipulate an end to threats of violence, of constantly living in fear of unpredictable emotional and physical explosions. She needs safety — physical and psychological — for herself and the children.

Yes, there are two sides, but with whom does a decent person side? Who has credibility? Who would you believe when their tales clash? Who benefits from lying and who does not? It’s not too difficult to distinguish reality from fiction in domestic violence cases.

Now turn to abuse in the workplace. It stops short of physical attacks, but is psychological violence nevertheless. As illustrated above, there are two sides to the story. One such scenario played out in public recently. Which side do you believe?

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Posted in Media About Bullying, Print: News, Blogs, Magazines, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Catholic school fires teacher stalked by abusive ex

Thursday, June 13th, 2013

A story of double jeopardy — a victim of domestic violence is treated like a criminal by her employer. Carie Charlesworth, 2nd grade teacher at Holy Trinity school in San Diego, warned her principal that her ex-spouse was on the grounds despite a court restraining order. The school went into lockdown. The abusive man subsequently went to prison for other crimes. Carie was fired and prevented from working for any other school in the diocese (district). Read the termination letter. Sadly, her four children enrolled at the school were also tossed out.

Simply put, because the violent man broke his restraining order, teacher and mother Carie was punished.

Video from NBC-TV-7, San Diego

A 2011 study by Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center Project SURVIVE found that nearly 40% of survivors in California reported being fired or fearing termination due to domestic violence.

The full story at the TV station website.

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Media About Bullying, Tutorials About Bullying, WBI Education | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Abuse at Work: Still not taboo after all these years

Friday, March 15th, 2013

At WBI we define workplace bullying as health-harming. It not only triggers a host of stress-related diseases that compromise the bullied target’s health, in its severest forms, it is another form of interpersonal abuse. Yes, abuse. Not simply eye-rolling as trivializing critics mischaracterize it. Bullying is a non-physical form of workplace violence. A systematic campaign of interpersonal destruction launched by a single instigator and executed by many joiners. It becomes an attack by many against the lone principled and shocked target.

American society reacts oddly to workplace bullying. Those to whom it has happened (35% of adult Americans) do not doubt its seriousness. Those with no experience are inclined to doubt and castigate the victims as somehow deficient. But we can’t wait for everyone to personally experience it before they agree to stop it.

There is precedent that even in the indisputably violent culture that is the U.S. some forms of abuse have been acknowledged to be morally wrong and prohibited — not eliminated — but frowned upon and condemned. They are taboo — not workplace bullying.

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Posted in Commentary by G. Namie, The New America | 2 Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



Good Samaritan fired by casino manager

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Pond Muony, manager, Lucky Bridge Casino in Pasco, WA fired Jessica Haines for daring to call the police to try to apprehend a man she witnessed beating a woman and driving away. Haines did this after her work shift ended, she had changed clothes, was outside in the parking lot and on her own time.

Muony said Haines did not follow “procedures.” The casino’s website boasts of new management. Way to go Pond! Google search Lucky Bridge Casino and see how the Haines firing has buried the casino’s attempt to have gamblers find it. Fire the manager for creating a public relations disaster.

NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

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Posted in Broadcasts: Video, TV, radio, webinars, Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, Media About Bullying | No Archived Comments | Post A Comment () »



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