To Fix NFL Culture, Sponsors Must Take Action

They're 'tacitly condoning' shocking behavior: Juliet Macur

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 15, 2014 4:44 PM CST

(Newser) – Thanks to an NFL report, we've learned all about the extent of bullying in the locker room—and something has to be done about it. For real change, writes Juliet Macur in the New York Times, sponsors have to lead the way. "Companies like Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, and Visa hold the only lever that really matters—the purse strings," she notes. "If the big companies stopped advertising, television channels would get spooked, and the NFL would be forced to make systemic changes."

Right now, those companies are backing a league whose workplace rules don't match "common standards." After all, "would it be OK if the employees of Microsoft, Papa John’s, Verizon, or General Motors … walked into their workplaces and pretended to have sex with a co-worker?" Would FedEx keep showing commercials featuring an inspired young quarterback "if they knew that quarterback would be bullied to the point that he would consider suicide" as Jonathan Martin did? With their cash, those companies "are tacitly condoning" Richie Incognito's actions. It's up to them to make "drastic" change. Click for the full piece.

In this photo taken May 16, 2011, file photo, the Pepsi logo is seen on a delivery truck at Walmart in Springfield, Ill.   (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
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