Tom Brady may have won his appeal to have the 4 game suspension reversed, however, the New England Patriot quarterback and Super Bowl MVP, slip in approval ratings. According to NESN, less than a week after Brady was handed a four game suspension for his role in the team’s latest scandal dubbed the Deflategate, 1000 people took part in a poll to provide a representative reaction to the controversy. Forty Seven percent of those surveyed say they don’t like Brady. Which reduced his likeability to a career-low 53 percent. Of course this is not the first time in recent years the MVP quarterback and Patriots have been accused of less than ethical behavior.
In 2007, a member of the Patriots’ staff was caught filming the signals used by the Jets’ coaching staff during the game, which was won by the Patriots 38 to 14. According to Newsday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined New England $250,000, took away their 2008 first round draft pick and fined head coach Bill Belichick $500,000. Soon afterwards, it was revealed the Patriots had illegally filmed their opponents starting in 2002 and all the way through 2007. Up until the spygate controversy only 10 percent of those polled indicated a dislike for Brady, however that number quickly rose to 23 percent and may have been the start of the slip in his approval ratings. In the weeks leading up to Superbowl XLIX in which the Patriots beat the Seahawks 28 – 24, headlines of the Deflategate scandal created a black cloud over Bowl Week according to Newsday.
An investigation into the allegations revealed that 11 of the Patriots’ 12 balls were in fact not filled to the minimum 12.5 pounds per square inch used during the first half of an AFC game. Despite the findings a federal judge ruled to lift the 4 game suspension imposed on Brady for his alleged role in the Deflategate scandal by Goodell. According to NESN the evidence presented was not strong enough to suggest Brady had specific knowledge of the deflated balls during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts, won by the Patriots 45 – 7, on Jan. 18, 2015.
According to The Washington Post, the NFL is going to appeal the decision handed down by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman. Citing the commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of professional football. The league has announced it will not keep the Patriots quarterback off of the field during the appeal process, however the odds of getting the suspension reinstated are not in the NFL’s favor. Only about 7.5 percent of civil appeals to the Second Circuit appellate court end up being reversed. The result of another loss could possibly further the damage done to the player disciplinary process and the central role played by Goodell.
Additional fallout over the Deflategate controversy, include a $1 million dollar fine to the Patriots, lost two draft choices and the team suspending of two low-level employees indefinitely on May 6, 2015, when the investigation into the allegations began. Brady expressed regret that John Jastremski and James McNally were not currently with them. In addition to looking forward to the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to USA TODAY, the two time NFL MVP said in a recent session with reporters, “It’s been a lot of stress on everybody’s families, and I feel bad that anybody’s in the position that we’ve been put in. Hopefully, we can keep learning from life experiences…”
Although the Tom Brady slip in approval ratings is in response to the team’s latest scandal, it does not appear to have impacted the star athlete’s ability to focus on the game. When asked how he felt about the NFL’s decision to appeal the latest ruling he said, “That’s their choice… My part is to get ready to play football…”
By Jireh Gibson
NESN: Poll Finds Tom Brady’s Likeability Has Dropped To Career-Low 53 Percent
Newsday: Patriots alleged cheating scandals
The Washington Post: For NFL, much at stake as it appeals judge’s lifting of Tom Brady’s suspension
The Washington Post: Judge nullifies Tom Brady’s four-game suspension in DelfateGate case; NFL announces appeal
USA TODAY: Tom Brady on suspended Patriots game day staff: ‘ certainly feel terrible for them’
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