When the Houston Astros won the World Series earlier this month, they celebrated with 250 bottles of expensive champagne. Other sports also celebrate championships with alcohol. NFL is not.
The league has a long-standing policy of banning the consumption of alcohol in team facilities, locker rooms, and while traveling on team planes and buses.
After several recent high-profile incidents and social media posts about command aircraft, it has become clear that the policy is being violated.
On Friday, the league sent out a memorandum to its teams threatening “significant disciplinary action” for policy violations.
“In light of recent events, clubs are reminded that league policy prohibits alcoholic beverages, including beer, in locker rooms, training or office areas, or while traveling on team buses or aircraft at any time during the pre-season, regular or post-season periods. This applies to all players, coaches, club staff and guests traveling with your team,” the league wrote via NFL Media. “This policy has been in place for many years. The provision of alcohol on club premises or when traveling creates significant and unnecessary risks for the league, its players, coaches and others. Violations of this important policy will be taken seriously and result in severe disciplinary action.
“Each club must ensure that its travel does not include the provision of alcoholic beverages at any time, and must also take appropriate steps to confirm that alcohol (whether beer or any other alcoholic beverage) is not available at its facility. Please refer any further questions on this matter to the Football Operations Management Board.”
The memo came 24 hours after Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested for drunkenness following his team’s win over the Packers in Green Bay. Coach Mike Vrabel did not say if there was alcohol on the team’s plane.
And former assistant chieftain Britt Reid was driving drunk on his way home from the command base in February 2021 when he seriously injured a 5-year-old girl. Earlier this month, Reed was sentenced to three years in prison.