The NFL has made a series of changes in recent weeks aimed at preventing players from using social platforms to promote the brand of their employer.
The league says it’s now cracking down further on players who are using their personal social media accounts to promote tobacco products.
The changes are part of a plan to address an increase in the use of social media in the NFL, a league spokesman told ESPN on Wednesday.
The players’ social media pages are currently not subject to the league’s “anti-harassment” rules, but will be under the new “Harassment Policy.”
The NFL says that the new rules will include penalties for players who engage in “harassment,” “unlawful speech,” and “using inappropriate language or imagery in connection with tobacco products or products of any other business, including a tobacco supplier.”
Players can still tweet or post photos of themselves with tobacco in a manner that does not violate the league rules, and the league says that players who have been suspended for using social-media accounts in the past can apply to rejoin the team.
But players who violate the new policy could be banned for life.
The NFL said in a statement that it is also “evaluating” new language in its new anti-harassment policy that “could lead to disciplinary action and/or possible discipline for players, coaches, and executives.”
“The NFL is a global brand and our players’ contributions to our brand and the success of our league is our greatest asset,” the statement said.
“In the past, the league has taken swift action to address concerns raised about its players’ conduct.
The goal of this new policy is to further strengthen our community, improve our relationship with our players, and make our workplace more inviting and inclusive.”
The league has also issued a series a new guidelines for employees, including new language that says employees can be fired if they “knowingly violate” the league.
The new language also says that employees should not use “an employee’s position, title, or status as a factor in a decision that has the potential to be adverse to the NFL’s reputation or image.”