Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/25/2018: What Do Kellyann’s Husband And The NFL Kneelers Have In Common? [Updated]

Morning in my home town, Arlington Massachusetts (where they seem to have found another body in Spy Pond….)

Good Morning!

1. George Conway is unethical. It’s really as simple as that. Kellyanne Conway’s husband George, a lawyer, has decided to take advantage of his wife’s notoriety to grab unearned influence and fame for himself. He has become a regular twitter critic of the President, routinely blasting the Administration through mostly re-tweeted commentary from other sources. This, of course, makes the Trumpophobes ecstatic, embarrasses his wife, and gives George 15 hitch-hiked minutes of fame.

Let me count the ways this is wrong:

  • He’s not contributing anything valuable to the public debate, just bolstering his wife’s enemies.  Social media-users who can’t muster their own arguments and who only appeal to authority should not be taken seriously, and if George wasn’t undermining his wife, he wouldn’t be.
  • Who he is married to is the only reason anyone pays any attention to his tweeting. Surely he knows this. Surely he knows that the result is his wife’s embarrassment, and that he he is actively working against her. This is not a James Carville-Mary Matalin act, where both spouses are independently regarded as powerful political consultants. This is spousal sabotage.
  • He’s risking his wife’s career for his own aggrandizement. I’ll say this for Trump: he’s more forgiving than I would be. I would give Kellyanne an ultimatum: get your husband to stop undermining us, dump him, or quit. This is analogous to the crazy estranged husband who keeps coming to his wife’s place of business to harass her. The employer’s completely justified message: “We can’t have this. It’s your problem; fix it, or we will.”

2.  ‘We don’t care: he’s a racist whatever he does.’ President Trump announced his long-rumored pardon of black heavyweight champion Jack Johnson yesterday. (The Times has an interesting feature about Johnson’s travails here.) Praising the President for this long over-due exoneration, an NAACP spokesman said…nah, I’m kidding, the civil rights organization didn’t say anything. However, the Congressional Black Caucus, which had urged President Obama to finally right this decades-long wrong, said…no, they had nothing to say either.  [ Correction: Originally I wrote here that John McCain, who sponsored a resolution asking for Obama to pardon Johnson,, did not signal praise for the pardon. He did, and I apologize to the Senator for the error. Thanks to Dan Abrams for the information.]

There is no reasonable argument against pardoning Johnson, and there never has been. Apparently Obama was hesitant–but then he was always hesitant—this time because Johnson had a reputation for domestic abuse. Thus I presume that the female contingent in the White House pulling Barack’s strings—Valerie and Michelle—along with the all-important advocates for the Democratic Party’s feminist base wouldn’t let him do it. Obama, a lawyer, or so I hear, must have realized that Johnson’s racist persecution by the government for being a  famous and defiant black man who openly had white female companionship had absolutely nothing to do with domestic abuse, and that misconduct a controversial figure may or may not have engaged in unrelated to an unjust criminal conviction shouldn’t play any part in a pardon assessment.

That Barack. So principled. So courageous…

3. I like David French, but...his recent op-ed for the Times attacking the NFL’s ruling on National Anthem protests going forward—if a player won’t stand respectfully, the he must stay off the field, in the locker room—is ethically obtuse. French’s point is that conservatives should champion free speech at a time when the Left is trying to suppress it. That’s a good point, and I agree wholeheartedly, but it has nothing to do with the NFL’s kneelers. I suspect that French wanted to make this argument, and negligently grabbed at the NFL policy as his chance to make it.

He writes in part,

Conservatives can recite the names of the publicly shamed from memory. There was Brendan Eich, hounded out of Mozilla for donating to a California ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and woman. There was James Damore, abruptly terminated from Google after he wrote an essay attributing the company’s difficulty in attracting female software engineers more to biology and free choice than to systemic discrimination. On campus, the list is as long and grows longer every semester.

It is right to decry this culture of intolerance and advocate for civility and engagement instead of boycotts and reprisals. The cure for bad speech is better speech — not censorship. Take that message to the heartland, and conservatives cheer.

Until, that is, Colin Kaepernick chose to kneel. Until, that is, the president demanded that the N.F.L. fire the other players who picked up on his protest after he was essentially banished from the league.

Like so many others, French ignores what is materially different about the Kneelers. They are abusing a captive audience with their grandstanding. It may be true that what Kaepernick claimed was his message was especially offensive to conservatives, but any protest, and any personal message, is inappropriate in the workplace. Eich’s contribution was personal. Damore wrote a job-related message to Google management. Students being punished for their speech breaches the whole purpose of a liberal arts education. There’s no disconnect between defending students bullied by political correctness and telling Kaepernick and his disciples to save their political blatherings to when they aren’t wearing shoulder pad. Fans don’t pay over a hundred bucks to watch a Politics Amateur Hour, they pay to see professional football. It doesn’t matter what the players are protesting (sometimes even to them: they have never been consistent about what exactly the kneeling meant)–Save the Whales, Down With Trump, Up With People, “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!”, climate change or the metric system. It’s not in their job description, so they have no business doing it on the job. This isn’t speech, it is conduct.

Why doesn’t French understand this? He writes,

In our polarized times, I’ve adopted a simple standard, a civil liberties corollary to the golden rule: Fight for the rights of others that you would like to exercise yourself. Do you want corporations obliterating speech the state can’t touch? Do you want the price of participation in public debate to include the fear of lost livelihoods? Then, by all means, support the N.F.L. Cheer Silicon Valley’s terminations. Join the boycotts and shame campaigns. Watch this country’s culture of liberty wither in front of your eyes.

Oh, Super Balderdash, David. I guess you are confused because a lot of the rhetoric from the President and others focus on why these particular inappropriate workplace demonstrations were offensive to many: they involved the flag and the Anthem.  FOCUS!

If you are arguing that the NFL shouldn’t forbid its employees from using the workplace for their personal political purposes because it harms the “culture of liberty,” then you must also believe that my supermarket must allow the butcher to loudly read Karl Marx in the middle of the store. You must assert that nurses in hospitals can harangue bed-bound patients on the virtues of Hillary Clinton, though admittedly that would be a short rant. And of course you must be in favor of public librarians proclaiming that the Iran deal must be upheld.

No, and obviously no. Workplace protests are not personal speech, they are worker misconduct that harms the business and annoys customers, and the content of the protest is irrelevant.  Like George Conway, such workers are unethically abusing a relationship for their own purposes. Unlike George, however, they have no right to do so.

51 Comments

Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Business & Commercial, Ethics Dunces, Ethics Train Wrecks, Family, Leadership, Race, Rights, Social Media, Sports, Workplace

51 responses to “Morning Ethics Warm-Up, 5/25/2018: What Do Kellyann’s Husband And The NFL Kneelers Have In Common? [Updated]

  1. dragin_dragon

    Note that the fine for defiance of this rule goes against the team, not the player. Guess how many players will ignore it.

    • Other Bill

      I read a guy on some sports page or CNN.com say the league could have simply kept teams off the field during the playing of the National Anthem. Not a bad idea.

      • Well, it bypasses the problem. It also makes the entire league look anti-Anthem, since all the other sports seem to manage to show some respect.

        • Other Bill

          The guy pointing this out also said it wasn’t too long ago that NFL teams stayed in their locker rooms during the anthem.

          Isn’t this the sort of “problem” that would be wise to bypass?

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          In all fairness, the NBA established the rule not to be patriotic, but to prevent players dribbling or otherwise warming up during the anthem, and only one player ever made an issue of it. Before that, the only really significant protest was the Mexico City Olympics, with the raising of the black gloved fists to show “black power.”

          BTW, “all other sports” don’t manage to show respect, as the protest did start to spread to the NBA, major league soccer, and also to kids’ sports. It suddenly became a way to score progressive cred and get your 15 minutes of fame.

          On a macro level it’s just another way of making the point that the United States isn’t really united anymore. We’ve gone from Washington arranging his line from MA to GA because “this is how God placed us,” a polyglot army defending New Orleans, and immigrants winning the Navy Cross in Afghanistan to every national holiday becoming a controversy and not even agreeing to stand for a two-minute expression of loyalty. What’s more, all the praise seems to go to those who condition or even withhold their loyalty, so long as they claim it’s for a progressive cause.

          • sophomorecritic

            On Kellyanne Conway: That Conway’s husband is benefitting in public profile is not really a reward in and of itself considering all the hate speech he must be receiving in this polarized society from either side of the aisle, so that’s an extremely tenuous argument. Aside from that, are you saying that anyone time someone speaks his mind he’s only doing it for fame and not ulterior motives. Have you applied this standard equally to everyone who has ever been elevated to the public discourse for his or her opinion?

            As for Kapernick:
            Fans are still getting their $100 worth. They paid for a football game and they got it. Kapernick’s offense is not devaluing their ticket.

            If you get offended by it, that is (no offense) snowflake behavior.

            • Three bad comments in one—

              1. “Aside from that, are you saying that anyone time someone speaks his mind he’s only doing it for fame and not ulterior motives. Have you applied this standard equally to everyone who has ever been elevated to the public discourse for his or her opinion?”

              The post says nothing of the kind. He’s using his wife’s prominence to get undue attention for his opinions, and harming his wife as a result. I’ve applied this equally to everyone who has ever exploited a personal relationship to someone with actual importance to get attention, yes.

              2. “Fans are still getting their $100 worth.” Deflection: I hope you think more clearly than this suggests. If I pay to see La Boheme at the Met, as long as the whole opera is sung, it doesn’t matter if I am also forced to watch the cast stage a protest? You really don’t comprehend this issue at all, do you? Kaepernick’s conduct is interfering with the experience that fans paid for. It isn’t a “value” issue.

              3. “If you get offended by it, that is (no offense) snowflake behavior.” Rationalization. Here, look up the list and figure out which apply. There are several.

          • sophomorecritic

            I agree with where you are coming from: We obsess too much over a lot of things that shouldn’t be a big deal for political purposes. I don’t like the PC police form either sides, but in that case I believe that’s how you and the original poster are acting.

            1. You are suggesting that they’re not showing an expression of loyalty because they are kneeling rather than standing. Just like whether we celebrate Columbus Day, it’s small potatoes and I see nothing to be gained by demonizing or getting angry at others over it. It’s essentially telling others, quite literally, how they are supposed to behave. At the core of any argument is “I don’t like what they’re doing” but why should they have to conform to your likes and dislikes?

            2. My view is that kneeling still follows the mandate to be at attention for the National Anthem.

            3. I think you lack rationale for conclusively saying these aren’t literally things they believe in as opposed to wanting to get credibility points. I literally argued that the people jumping on the “all guys on Arrested Development are terrible people” train by telling them that they were insincerely doing that to gain credibility points, but this is different because these are the protesteters themselves making their own choices, not people choosing to back them or be against them.

            • Welcome to the blog, but you are going to have to do better, because this is terrible.

              I agree with where you are coming from: We obsess too much over a lot of things that shouldn’t be a big deal for political purposes. I don’t like the PC police form either sides, but in that case I believe that’s how you and the original poster are acting.

              1. I am “the original poster”, my name is Jack Marshall, it says so right on the home page, and if you are going to comment here, know what you are commenting on.

              2. “It’s no big deal” is not a valid position here—check the Comment policies. And since the kneeling disrupted the NFL, ratings and national politics, it was a big deal by definition. That you don’t think it was a big deal is irrelevant.

              3. People who feel insulted or disrespected are angry. You “feel” that nothing is to be gained? Nobody gets angry to do anything.

              4. Yes, people like me are telling employees of the NFL that they have no right to disrupt the games, and that pointless protests that accomplish nothing can be and should be banned by their employers. And they should be told that.

              5. If kneeling was gesture of respect, then it would not have been a protest. But it was a protest, and the kneelers SAID it was a protest. Let me gently suggest that you are running into the blog’s “Stupidity Rule” territory. Don’t waste our time with ridiculous statements like that.

              “My view is that kneeling still follows the mandate to be at attention for the National Anthem.”

              Then your view is either dishonest, ignorant, or idiotic. Try “your view” in the military. Tradition and custom rule. Kneeling is not “attention.”

              “I think you lack rationale for conclusively saying these aren’t literally things they believe in as opposed to wanting to get credibility points. I literally argued that the people jumping on the “all guys on Arrested Development are terrible people” train by telling them that they were insincerely doing that to gain credibility points, but this is different because these are the protesteters themselves making their own choices, not people choosing to back them or be against them.”

              This paragraph is incoherent. But don’t bother explaining it, because what I do understand is lame anyway.

              • Can’t we just link to the discussions from last year that hashed all this out?

                • luckyesteeyoreman

                  Is “sophomorecritic” Chris’s new name?

                  • Impossible. Chris is an English teacher.

                  • Several years ago there was a commenter who only wanted to discuss Supreme Court “malpractice” or something or other. His hobby horse was jurisprudential something or other.

                    He was banned in many different screen names. He’d come back, stylistically the same, someone would call him on his style and next post was a rant about our judicial branch.

                    Banned.

                    There was another commenter like that.

                    I don’t think Chris would have that much brazenness to do something like that, but who knows.

                    • Ah yes, I remember it well. He was also a pompous ass, and set the all-time record for argument-by-link. He would include five or more in a single post. He also responded to each banning with about five insulting posts that all had to be spammed, until he gave up—until the next time.

                  • If sophomorecritic starts spouting about the new report from an Israeli intelligience firm that fake social media accounts helped give Trump the win, then I’ll increase the likelihood that he is Chris from .5% to 1.5%.

            • 1. “It’s essentially telling others, quite literally, how they are supposed to behave.”

              1) It is disrespectful to protest during a moment of unifying tradition.

              2) This is, therefore, unethical.

              3) In America, you CAN do that, but employers CAN compel employees while they are on the job.

              4) In America, the fans can react negatively to the disrespectful protests, which they have done so.

              5) NFL, which, to use a summary term, owns the games and the players work FOR the NFL. (Yes it is more nuanced than that, but it’s a summary way of saying the players are employees, and their employers have to make business decisions which compel their employees conduct).

              6) The NFL can compel it’s players to stand.

              7) This isn’t a violation of Freedom of Speech.

              There are two ethics components of the kneeling fiasco:

              1) It’s already unethical because the kneeling is disrespectful.

              After that, the the fans and the NFL have made a clear decision of what their employees ought to do.

              2) It’s NOT unethical for the NFL to compel the players to stop the protest.

          • By all other sports I mean, I guess, “sports I give a damn about.”

    • Rich in CT

      The owners voted unanimously for the policy, so they are either “pro-kneeling” and will eat the fines, or sane and will bench players who kneel.

  2. Other Bill

    I’ve been wondering what the heck is up with Mr. Conway. Incredibly strange.

  3. Pardons are declarations of guilt, not innocence. See Burdick v. United States, 236 U.S. 79, 94 (1915). How does a pardon help the exonerated, considering Burdick?

    • Not when the guilty verdict was a miscarriage of justice

      • I quote the Supreme Court.

        This brings us to the differences between legislative immunity and a pardon. They are substantial. The latter carries an imputation of guilt; acceptance a confession of it. The former has no such imputation or confession. It is tantamount to the silence of the witness. It is noncommittal. It is the unobtrusive act of the law given protection against a sinister use of his testimony, not like a pardon, requiring him to confess his guilt in order to avoid a conviction of it.

        • So what does this mean, in this conversation? Just quoting authority does not explain, persuade, or carry your point.

          • It means pardons mean acceptance of guilt.

            • All ‘pardon’ means is that legally one was convicted of something. Otherwise, a pardon would not be needed.

              ‘Acceptance of guilt’ has meanings not required for this application, Michael. Flynn did nothing wrong, not even lied to the FBI (according to their own agents who interviewed him) yet had to plead guilty in order to save everything he had work a lifetime to gain.

              This is a perversion of justice and not the fault of the defendant.

  4. sophomorecritic

    “If you are arguing that the NFL shouldn’t forbid its employees from using the workplace for their personal political purposes because it harms the “culture of liberty,” then you must also believe that my supermarket must allow the butcher to loudly read Karl Marx in the middle of the store. You must assert that nurse in hospitals can harangue bed-bound patients on the virtues of Hillary Clinton. And of course you must be in favor of public librarians proclaiming that the Iran deal must be upheld.”

    Good point!
    But those involve public protests that create noise or interfere with an experience. You’re experience in getting meat or getting nursing care is disrupted. I’d argue that watching the player kneel is the least distracting thing they can possibly do to get their message across effectively (and it serves an entirely practical purpose because if they knelt at any point outside of a football game, no one would pay attention to them) so if you want them to do less than that, you essentially want to force out expression of them. I believe it is also worth noting that it is entirely legal to react to the anthem however you want. If I’m not mistaken, it is wrong to burn a flag. I still see it as them paying attention to the anthem.

    It’s curious that you haven’t checked the motives of Trump or the ethics of a President trying to influence by discourse by shutting players up (especailly players who aren’t speaking).

    • “But those involve public protests that create noise or interfere with an experience. You’re experience in getting meat or getting nursing care is disrupted. I’d argue that watching the player kneel is the least distracting thing they can possibly do to get their message across effectively (and it serves an entirely practical purpose because if they knelt at any point outside of a football game, no one would pay attention to them) so if you want them to do less than that, you essentially want to force out expression of them. I believe it is also worth noting that it is entirely legal to react to the anthem however you want. If I’m not mistaken, it is wrong to burn a flag. I still see it as them paying attention to the anthem.”

      1. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the “least distracting thing” or not. The point is, I didn’t go to the store to be preached at. Actually, since shopping is a chore and not entertainment, such inappropriate conduct is LESS annoying in the grocery store. We go to plays, concerts and sports to get away from political controversy, not to subject ourselves to protests.

      Perhaps you like the airplane pilot a few years ago who read bible verses in the air. Captive audience.

      2. They have no right to the extra attention, or even a plausible ethical justification to grab it. If I can’t use the NFL games to make political statements, neither can they. Of course they want to hijack the games. That’s a circular argument. And what does “get their message across effectively” mean? They are kneeling? It doesn’t mean anything, and these clods can’t five the same explanation twice in a row! All it means is “I protest!” So what? It’s effective at annoying and dividing people. It accomplishes nothing whatsoever.

      3.No, it isn’t worth noting that “it’s legal’ to react to the anthem however you want. If you are paid to perform in an event that does not include anything but demonstrated respect for the nation, then you either do that, or you get punished. This is an ethics issue, and a rights issue. It is not per se illegal to demonstrate against the anthem or the flag, but if the owner of the space where I do it and my employers says not to, it’s still wrong, and he or she still has the legal right to stop me….and could use law enforcement to make me stop.

      • 2. Though it would be unethical for fans to hijack their attendance at a game to make a political statement, I think it’s *less* unethical than for players to do so. I think the contractual relationship makes the player’s misconduct worse.

      • And by the way:

        “It’s curious that you haven’t checked the motives of Trump or the ethics of a President trying to influence by discourse by shutting players up (especially players who aren’t speaking).”

        No, it’s curious you would write this without checking the blog on which it is written first. I have written extensively about Trump’s comments. Try doing a little home work—there’s a SEARCH engine right here—before falsely implying I haven’t covered something. The post is about the NFL’s move, and and has nothing to do with Trump whatsoever. For the record, Trump often doesn’t have motives. He just says stuff.

    • “I’d argue that watching the player kneel is the least distracting thing they can possibly do to get their message across effectively”

      #22

      “(and it serves an entirely practical purpose because if they knelt at any point outside of a football game, no one would pay attention to them)”

      #13 & #28

      “so if you want them to do less than that, you essentially want to force out expression of them.”

      oooo…is this a new one? or not one…?

      “I believe it is also worth noting that it is entirely legal to react to the anthem however you want.”

      #4

      “If I’m not mistaken, it is wrong to burn a flag. I still see it as them paying attention to the anthem.”

      #22 & #59

      “It’s curious that you haven’t checked the motives of Trump or the ethics of a President trying to influence by discourse by shutting players up (especailly players who aren’t speaking).”

      #2

      • And in case the numbering system shifts as new rationalizations are discovered:

        #22 – The Comparative Virtue Excuse: “There are worse things.”

        #13 – The Saint’s Excuse: “It’s for a good cause”

        #28 – The Revolutionary’s Excuse: “These are not ordinary times.”

        #4 – Marion Barry’s Misdirection, or “If it isn’t illegal, it’s ethical.”

        #59 – The Golden Rule Mutation, or “I’m all right with it!”

        #2 – Ethics Estoppel, or “They’re Just as Bad”

    • Michelle Klatt

      I stopped watching football because I don’t like my sports with a side of politics. I’m from Wisconsin, and the Packers are nearly a religion here. My choice to stop watching is directly linked to the kneeling protests, and I cannot express strongly enough how difficult that decision was for me. Nary a game of any kind, not on Monday nights, not Thursday, or Sunday. No football on Thanksgiving. Canceled cable, because I mostly had it for the games. There’s pressure on the NFL, the players, and on advertisers to stop forcing a political view on fans. Protests aren’t worth a darn if they don’t get the intended results, and this protest was doomed from the beginning, since there wasn’t a coherent goal. Even if there’s no more kneeling, football’s been ruined for me, and my cable company will never get my dollars back as a result.

      • Same here.

        The NFL was hurt by this nonsense, and this new rule did not help them.

        Charging the fine to the TEAM, who will not notice the fleabite, and not the players, is an insult from a league who deserves to go down in flames.

        If they really want this to stop, give the opposing team 3 points for every player who kneels.

        Teams and players will take notice then!

  5. Ash

    Here’s a labor lawyer explaining under Federal Labor Law (as well as the First Amendment) why “The NFL’s “take a knee” ban is flatly illegal”

    https://www.vox.com/the-big-idea/2018/5/25/17394422/nfl-knee-kneeling-labor-law-kaepernick-free-speech-protest-owners

    I found his arguments much more logical and credible than French’s

    • Vox was banging on all 4 cylinders of their Volga GAZ 21 with that article.

      I don’t have the legalese to take this piece down, but I know enough to know that argument was pretzels. I hope Jack addresses it in depth later.

      • Aleksei

        Love the Soviet auto reference! Fun fact, there was a GAZ 23 Volga high speed chase version with the V8 from the Chaika. Subsequent models with this configuration where also available. So if Vox where Chekists, they would be haulin’ some Soviet muscle car power!

  6. On #2 Mccain did tweet out a nice comment applauding Trump for the pardon.

  7. #2 & #3 (kinda)

    A 03/12/2014 episode of the Jim Rome Show featured former NFLer Tony Gonzalez, NBA coach Byron Scott, and Jason Whitlock discussing a proposed NFL rule change.

    That change? A 15 yard penalty for using the “N” word.

    Factor in the following responses are from memory as I wasn’t able to pull the script.

    FYI, lockdown Corner extraordinaire Richard Sherman had his own rather pointed take on the proposed rule change: “It’s almost racist.”

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/richard-sherman-on-n-word-penalty-its-atrocious-idea-almost-racist/

    Tony Gonzales, who is reportedly Black, was asked how often, if ever, had he heard the “N” word on the field.

    Gonzales: “All the time.”

    Rome: “Ever from a White Player?”

    Gonzales: “Never.”

    Rome: “Ever hear the word ‘Honky?’ ”

    Gonzales: “All the time.”

    I’m thinking not from a White Player either.

    The rule change idea was dropped, and I’d venture a guess based on what Gonzales had to say.

    Had the rule change gone through, all the flags would have constituted a different type of…um…targeting.

  8. luckyesteeyoreman

    3. I am hoping that the ongoing controversy, and the protesting players’ continuing insistence on the “righteousness” of their protestations, will result in continued further erosion of NFL income and public interest, due to increasing numbers of off-put former fans who resent the “Look at me! I’m woke! You’d better be just like me, too!” cram-downs of exhibitionistic, preachy political partisanship, and due to increasing numbers of pro-health, anti-injury, dedicated litigious non-fans of the bloodsport.

    • luckyesteeyoreman

      I should have said, “…and the protesting players’ (and their slimy allies’) continuing insistence…,” plus, “…erosion of NFL income and public interest to the point of the league going bankrupt,…”

      • There would be the lovely irony of them destroying their meal ticket, and the meal tickets that would have given other players to have very rich funerals after all their concussions. Protesting must be intelligently done to be effective. But the ones they claim to be inspired by were rarely done on the high ticket and without severe consequence. I’d respect these huys more if these ‘protests’ were actually costing them something. That’d be like Scrooge McDuck protesting for the manatees without leaving his office or putting up. It doesn’t mean enough for them to risk their mealticket or comforts. They simply aren’t proving it’s that important (whatever ‘it’ is for each player)

        Would they keep protesting if the NFL had all agreed on a ban with teeth? Right now any penalty is the team’s discretion, so I don’t see any change yet, bad for the teams/ratings/money. At som point someone will try to excuse the idiocy because of CTE,,,

  9. JimHodgson

    In regard to #3, I am regularly perplexed by folks not understanding the employer’s right to regulate employee conduct on the job, and sometimes off the job as well. Here is just one and perhaps the most humorous example of several legally similar off-duty misconduct issues that I personally dealt with, and the disciplinary actions we took were never overturned:
    A number of years ago I had to discipline an officer who was habitually mowing the grass in front of his home while wearing a pair of boxer shorts that exposed his intergluteal cleft. Neighbors had asked him to desist, and that effort failing they had complained to the agency. In addition to the fact that everyone in the neighborhood knew the guy and knew who he worked for, he had a take-home marked patrol unit parked in his driveway when off duty, so his affiliation with the agency was obvious whether he was working or not. The officer (who did not deny the allegations) was counseled and ordered to adopt more appropriate mowing attire. When neighbors came back with video of his unsavory mowing appearance, taken days after the counseling session, the officer was terminated. He sued (of course), maintaining that his off-duty conduct was none of our business. His suit was dismissed on summary judgement.
    Ah, the exciting life of a law enforcement administrator!

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