Leveling the playing field for punishing off-job conduct

HBO CEO Chris Albrecht resigned yesterday at parent company Time Warner’s request, after he was arrested and charged on Sunday for assaulting his girlfriend...

HBO CEO Chris Albrecht resigned yesterday at parent company Time Warner’s request, after he was arrested and charged on Sunday for assaulting his girlfriend in Las Vegas.

This comes on the heels of the Tennessee Titan’s Adam “Pacman” Jones’ appeal on Monday to the NFL that suspending him for the entire 2007 season because of his off-field personal conduct was unfair and excessive.

A letter Jones’ attorney wrote to the NFL, and that was posted on The Tennessean’s Web site, cited that at least 283 NFL players have been arrested or charged for offenses ranging from drunken driving to domestic violence to weapons possession since January 2000, and none had received such a severe punishment.

In fact, the letter shows that a domestic violence charge similar to Albrecht’s will get an NFL athlete roughly a one-game suspension.

I find this interesting that there’s such a difference in standards. Here's my question: Is the public less quick to judge and call for action against players' personal conduct because they hold these athletes at a much lower standard?

It seems to me that a child seeking a role model would be more likely to want to emulate a football star than a cable network CEO.

And I’m not saying that the NFL isn't doing its part. In fact, it's recently become stricter about personal conduct standards under new commissioner Roger Goodell, as evidenced by Jones’ suspension. In doing so, it’s showed it’s committed to holding players accountable for their off-field behavior.

I'm also certainly not condoning Albrecht's behavior, but why should there be such a discrepancy in standards for personal conduct?

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