The NFL announced its penalties for the Atlanta Falcons stemming from their illegal noise scandal today. The Falcons were accused of piping in extra crowd noise during home games in 2013 and 2014 during opposing team’s huddles.
The Falcons will lose a fifth-round draft pick in 2016 and also be forced to pay a $350,000 fine. Team president Rich McKay will also be suspended from his position as co-chair of the league’s competition committee for at least 90 days, beginning on April 1 and running through June 30 when he is first eligible to be reinstated. The team also dismissed director of marketing Roddy White two weeks ago, after the league’s investigation concluded that he was “directly responsible for the violation.”
Reports over the weekend suggested that the league’s penalties would be severe, however the end result is a relatively light slap on the wrist for the Falcons considering fears that the team would lose a higher round pick this year and face stiffer fines and possible salary cap penalties.
Falcons owner Arthur Blank issued a statement on Monday:
“What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business. Anytime there are actions that compromise the integrity of the NFL or threaten the culture of our franchise, as this issue did, they will be dealt with swiftly and strongly.”
“The League conducted a thorough investigation of this matter, and we cooperated fully. We understand the penalties imposed and their impact on our team, and we will not appeal the league’s decisions. Further, we have addressed the matter internally and taken actions to ensure that something like this does not happen again.”
“The Falcons and all of our other businesses are built upon a foundation of values that drive our decision making. This issue was a clear failure in that regard. I apologize for any embarrassment this situation has caused the NFL, our fans, and our Falcons players and associates.”