NFL Crisis Communications and Organizational Apologia Regarding Domestic Violence
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The NFL is a large corporate organization that has recently had numerous, publicized discrepancies, which have damaged its public reputation. Perhaps the most significant issue that thrust the NFL into crisis communication mode was the countless media reports of domestic violence within the NFL last year, including the Ray Rice incident. Scandal broke when a video was leaked to TMZ in September showing the Baltimore Ravens player, Ray Rice, physically abusing his fiancé, in an elevator. These images forced the NFL to publicly address the issues of its policies regarding domestic violence and the various reports of domestic violence by its players as well. The purpose of this study is to examine the approach the NFL took in its communication efforts as they addressed the Ray Rice incident. More specifically, this study will investigate whether the NFL followed the accepted organizational apologia approach to image maintenance and image repair.