By Troy Vincent
NFL Player Engagement
“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do.” ~ Don Galer
The term “player integrity” never has been as important as it is today because the future of our game depends on it. Athletes are revered in society and are held up as role models for fans. A lapse in player integrity can not only cost the player his job, but can have a devastating impact on our game.
In order for fairness and honesty to remain central to our game, all those associated with the game of football must strive to adhere to moral standards of conduct that are in sync with the entire league’s values and ethics.
For most of us, player integrity is an ongoing internal conversation and external actions that we have with ourselves. It is based on certain foundational, ethical, and moral principles we identify as personally important to us. Each day, we are given many opportunities to do “the right thing.” There are at least two decisions we make: first, determining the right thing to do, and second, deciding whether we will do it.
A person of integrity does not struggle between what is right and wrong. He instinctively knows. In contrast, those who operate in the gray aren’t likely to make good decisions. Nor will they make good teammates. Therefore, if we could choose our teammates, we would naturally want men of integrity suiting up in the same team jersey as the one we are wearing. We normally cannot choose our teammates, but we can demonstrate integrity through our words and actions, thus setting an individual standard of excellence.
Player integrity is one of the most essential and desirable characteristics of an NFL player. We are drawn to our teammates who possess integrity and show strong character in all situations. Team captains are able to lead their teams because their teammates instinctively trust them. Teams come together and become exceptional in action on the field when they are unified by mutual respect and trust for each other.