Sean Payton: Broncos have worked to make NFL gambling policy more clear
As recently mentioned, the NFL gambling policy was seemingly written by lawyers for lawyers. The document is not particularly easy for a non-lawyer to understand.
At least one team has taken the information and tried to re-work it into something the players (and the rest of the organization) can better comprehend. That was the message from Broncos coach Sean Payton’s Thursday comments on the situation.
“We got a packet from the league,” Payton told reporters. “Obviously, when policies change, it’s our job to educate [the players]. [Vice President of football operations & compliance] Mark Thewes was awesome. We’re professional teachers. The packet we received, we looked at, studied [it] closely and then we presented it in our own PowerPoint. I probably had 20 minutes on it to really make sure everyone has it.”
Payton then said something we’ve mentioned a time or two, especially in relation to the cluster of Lions suspensions.
“If you’re a teacher and half your class get a D, you better look at yourself,” Payton said. “It’s not the policy, but it’s the implementation, the understanding, and the educating of the policy. I presented a week and a half ago, and now someone officially will present [it]. Hopefully, it won’t be from that eight-page handout we received because that was more confusing after I read it than it was before I looked at it.”
It’s very simple. The coaches need to tell the players to not bet on sports. While the policy allows betting on other sports away from work, the better approach is to not gamble on sports, period.
That should be the rule for all players, frankly. Why let them bet on any sports at all? It’s the accumulation of debt that can cause desperate people to do things that would undermine the integrity of the game.
If it’s a problem for players to bet on other sports in the team facility, why let them do it anywhere? And if that’s one of the ground rules for playing in the NFL, how many players would say to an NFL career, “No thanks. I’d rather be able to bet on baseball.”
The message to the league from Payton’s comments is also clear. Take a look at the policy and ask yourself whether it does enough to make the do’s and don’ts sufficiently obvious to the average player.
Too many workplace policies are crafted by lawyers who aren’t capable of writing a message that an audience of non-lawyers can understand. That’s definitely the case with the NFL’s gambling policy.