It’s been a rough weekend for Seattle sports. After the University of Washington Huskies lost to Washington State University Cougars in the Apple Cup Friday evening, reports leaked tonight that two Seattle Seahawks players face a four-week long suspension for violating the leagues performance enhancing substance policy.
Cornerbacks Brandon Browner and Richard Sherman were unable to comment, as well as their agents and team officials, since they were already on their flight back to Seattle. This is the second time this season Seahawks players have been suspended for league policy violations. First suspension went to safety Winston Guy for failing a drug test.
A crisis in the sports world is unlike any other. In this highly charged, media-driven industry, athletes, executives, sports organizations and institutions are exposed to intense public scrutiny fueled by fans hungry for information and a news cycle that never stops. The media tries sports figures long before they step into a court of law and reputations are destroyed overnight.
Just like in corporate America, players in the sports marketplace are vulnerable to any number of critical issues and incidents with the potential to become full-blown crises. As a PR representative you can’t always control crises, however, you can control the way your organization responds to them.
My best advice for the Seattle Seahawks organization is to get the truth out there fast before disgruntled fans fuel the fire of rumors.