Yet another NFL player tested positive for banned substances. The NFL has had its share of PR challenges this year and the suspension of a popular player like Wes Welker is never a good thing, unless you’re another team in the AFC West. In today’s 24-hour news cycle where social media and bloggers often label you guilty the minute news leaks out, there are a few simple rules to follow when dealing with such a crisis.
- Tell everyone the sample was “tainted.” You are responsible for what goes in your body.
- Blame the NFL for flawed drug policies. This just appears to be a statement from someone who is upset they were caught.
- Restate the names of the drugs you’re accused of having in your system. Why give reason for people to keep talking about you and the specific amphetamines you’re accused of taking?
- Be honest and admit to your mistake immediately if you made one. Remember that what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. The truth always comes out in the end. We are a forgiving society and those in the sports world like Andy Petitte and Jason Giambi who admitted their mistakes are viewed much differently than those like Lance Armstrong and Mark McGwire that fervently denied it.
- Acknowledge that you are a role model to many people and that you realize your actions, whether fair or not, are held to a higher standard.
- Take control of the story before it takes control of you. If you knew this accusation was forthcoming, be the first to share accurate information and not a list of what have become common excuses.
How would you handle a similar crisis?