In an effort to ensure pro­fes­sional, inclu­sive working envi­ron­ments for its teams and per­sonnel, the National Foot­ball League is part­nering with Northeastern’s Sport in Society to develop and imple­ment a league-​​wide workplace-​​conduct pro­gram. Sport in Society is the world’s fore­most authority in pro­viding pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment and con­sulting for orga­ni­za­tions that use sport as a tool to pro­mote social responsibility.

Reaf­firming the league’s com­mit­ment to pro­fes­sional con­duct in the work­place, the NFL is insti­tuting this training pro­gram to rein­force the social and moral respon­si­bility of those who rep­re­sent the NFL and make cer­tain that this con­tinues to be an inte­gral part of the NFL culture.

The new pro­gram will align with the NFL’s best prac­tices in rela­tion to proper work­place con­duct and media rela­tions, with a par­tic­ular focus on issues relating to gender equity and respect. The edu­ca­tional con­tent will cover legal com­po­nents related to issues of gender dis­crim­i­na­tion and harass­ment and will be deliv­ered through Sport in Society’s sport-​​focused edu­ca­tional mate­rials, which uti­lize real-​​life locker room and on-​​field sce­narios to help ath­letes and team per­sonnel better under­stand how these issues relate to their roles as NFL representatives.

Sport in Society truly applauds the NFL for its com­mit­ment to values-​​based lead­er­ship and its under­standing of the impor­tant role sport has to play in society,” said Dan Lebowitz, exec­u­tive director for Sport in Society. “The NFL’s efforts on this pro­gram are a tes­ta­ment to the pos­i­tive steps that must be proac­tively taken by the pro­fes­sional sports industry. Sport in Society has been pro­viding values-​​based lead­er­ship edu­ca­tion to the sports industry for over 25 years. We hope that other sports follow the NFL’s lead­er­ship in this effort.”

The training pro­gram will be con­structed as a sus­tain­able model for the NFL to own and deploy across all its teams. Sport in Society’s expert con­sul­tants and facil­i­ta­tors will develop the pro­gram and pre­pare NFL team staff mem­bers to deliver the cur­riculum at each team. This method was chosen for its scal­a­bility and impact, as each team’s staff will adapt the cur­riculum and delivery system in a way that is most effec­tive for that team.

We are pleased to be working with an orga­ni­za­tion that has a demon­strated track record of suc­cess in work­place con­duct training in the sports industry,” said Robert Gul­liver, exec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of human resources and chief diver­sity officer for the NFL. “Sport in Society will help us develop a pro­gram to ensure a better under­standing of pro­fes­sional work­place con­duct and pro­duce pos­i­tive results.”

Key edu­ca­tional delivery methods will include both direct facil­i­tated dis­cus­sions and video con­tent. Rel­e­vant media clips and seg­ments fea­turing former NFL players, well-​​known experts on gender issues and sport, coaches, and media pro­fes­sionals will pro­vide fur­ther rel­e­vancy and points for dis­cus­sion. The pro­gram will be devel­oped by the end of the 2010 season.