The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) expanded last season’s agreement with RealResponse to include safe and secure feedback for all players and teams for anonymous reporting. Mental health is top and center with this enhanced arrangement after the recent high-profile domestic violence related case against NFLPA VP, Richard Sherman. He reportedly fled the scene of a single-car crash while inebriated and then later was recorded on door cam footage as he attempted to violently enter the residence of his father-in-law’s house in Redmond (my hometown) so he could physically be in the same space as his wife who did not want this conversation to happen resulting in Sherman’s resisted arrest. Sherman was later charged with five misdemeanors that he pleaded non-guilty too. RealResponse enables users like Sherman to interact securely in real-time with the NFLPA regarding any issue such as player health and safety, even if it is from a digital device used in jail. A wide variety of issues can be safely reported by current and former NFL players via the feedback monitoring and anonymous reporting platform currenting in use by athletic teams, organizations and more than 50,000 athletes. The NFLPA encourages their members to use the secure solution to report concerns about upcoming training camps that begin today for the Rams and Chargers, medical issues like CTE and concussions, drug policy infractions including questions about marijuana use now legal in 18 states and Washington D.C., as well as, social injustice concerns with police, security or fans, harassment, misconduct, and COVID-19 policy violations that come with a mandatory NFL fine of $14,650 per violation for unvaccinated players. Last year, during the first pandemic-stricken season, RealResponse was activated as a health and safety communication tool for COVID health and safety questions, and violations, directly reported to the NFLPA. Another value of this B2B arrangement is the system’s ability to highlight successful protocols, case uses and resolutions, in addition to best practices, the kind of positive stories often underreported. Last week, the Sports Techie community blog wrote about the RealResponse system, their upgrade in 2020, and the 100 college and university partners currently using the sports tech.
“The NFLPA is committed to providing players a confidential way to bring forward any issues or concerns that may require the union’s assistance, therefore we are excited to announce that we are expanding our use of RealResponse,” said Don Davis, Senior Director Player Affairs & Senior Advisor to the Executive Director at NFL Players Association. “The successful utilization of this platform in 2020, allowed players to bring forward any COVID-19 questions or violations. We believe this system will go a long way in addressing problems and letting all focus on the task at hand, which is being successful athletes, teammates and family members for decades to come.”
NFLPA Is Not Alone
The NFLPA becomes the first professional organization to implement the technology’s entire suite. USA Gymnastics is another company partner and has been a major story at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics after superstar Simone Biles on the USAG team, stepped away from competition as a result of mental health issues. Clearly, RealResponse is well-timed to assist the NFLPA, USAG and colleges, with safe and secure, digital reporting.
“Health and safety remain the priority for all organizations, and our system will now give thousands of NFL players a safe and secure opportunity to voice concerns beyond only COVID-19 for any issues on and off the field,” said 31 year old David Chadwick, former Division I basketball player at Rice University and Valparaiso University and the founder of RealResponse. “We were proud to support the NFLPA last season amidst COVID-19, and today’s announcement is ample proof of last season’s success and that our system, working with the first movers who lead the NFLPA, will be a model not just for football, but for all athletic organizations as we expand, enhance, refine and customize our offering to meet the needs of athletes, organizations and colleges around the world.”
The program officially begins today with the start of NFL training camp and continues throughout 2021/22 season.
Last season, RealResponse and the NFLPA partners to provide its members with a safe platform to anonymously text potential violations of NFL/NFLPA health and safety protocol related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Sports Techie, I am a big fan of the union that represents the players of the National Football League. I often use hashtag #NFLPA on Twitter when I share a story that I believe both their representatives and members would like to, or should, know more about. The last time when the Sherman story broke.
The NFLPA motto is – “We are dedicated to the success and well-being of all players on and off the field.”
Thus their expanded partnership with RealResponse.
The NFLPA also supports sports technology development through their accelerator, One-Team Collective, showcased by their investment in mixed reality you can read about below.
I see on the NFLPA’s website they are using hashtag, #AthleteAnd.
Let me form the perfect tweet about this story then.
The @RealResponseHQ Platform Powers @NFLPA Safe And Secure Reporting For #AthleteAnd. #MentalHeath #COVID19 #SocialInjustice
I am super excited for the upcoming NFL season, hopefully, more people and players get vaccinated as the Delta variant continues to spread across America.
Wear a mask too, and report those that willfully do not because if the unvaccinated cause a team quarantine, the result will be a team loss and players not getting paid for the week.
Just do the right thing.
See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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