Being based in Chicago, our company has been on top of the Chicago Bears and their schedule all season. They have shown glimmers of hope, but most of it has been a Chicago fan bowing his or her head in disappointment. One of the glimmers of hope came from a receiver named Alshon Jeffery who was named team captain. This season was deemed a “rebuilding season” by most and this player seemed like a prime example of positive steps in the right direction.
After a loss on Sunday to Tampa Bay, the team faced another loss. Alshon Jeffery was suspended four games for violating the league's policy against performance-enhancing drugs. Even though this was technically a rebuilding season, some people put a good deal of stock in Jeffery and what he could contribute for the future of the Bears season. How many pieces do the Bears truly have now for the long haul? Makes one think.
In terms of branding, was Jeffery’s statement helpful for his own personal image? The simple fact that he said, “I take full responsibility” seems like a legitimate statement to prove he knows he’s in the wrong. Could him taking a performance-enhancing supplement be an honest mistake? From his initial statement this does seem like the case. The ingredient that he was tested for was found in a supplement Jeffery took to combat inflammation. There’s a lot we don’t know in this case because of the confidentiality agreement with the NFL. One of the items that is uncertain is who “recommended” this supplement to Jeffery. Although he takes full responsibility in his statement, mentioning that the supplement was not solely in his hands may suggest to some that he is acting a bit of the victim. Here is his statement saying that he takes full responsibility while also saying the supplement was recommended:
An article from the Chicago Tribune mentions that this happening makes Jeffery, either “devious or careless”. In the eyes of the team and its fans, these two words do not seem like words they want to describe one of their key building blocks of the future.