Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said that based on his impression of the NFL's investigation into whether the team used fake crowd noise, the Falcons' alleged actions were "wrong," according to the Associated Press.
ESPN reported on Sunday that the Falcons are being investigated for allegedly pumping artificial crowd noise into the Georgia Dome during home games. The report said the investigation centers specifically around using the noise to distract opposing teams in the huddle, and that employees from the team's Game Operations Department are the investigation's central focus.
"It's not really a fine line," Blank told the AP. "I think what we've done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we're opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner. It's obviously embarrassing but beyond embarrassing it doesn't represent our culture and what we're about."
According to ESPN, if found guilty, the team could face fines as well as the loss of a draft pick. Blank said he expects the NFL to give a full report of its findings in two or three weeks.
"We've gotten some information from the league but until we read the full report and until they publish their findings, we can't be totally clear," said Blank. "We've talked to a lot of people and we've cooperated and we'll be anxious to read the report."
In 2013, the Washington Redskins were criticized by their own fans for allegedly pumping noise into FedExField. In October, Baltimore Ravens coach Jim Harbaugh indicated before a game against Indianapolis that the Colts used fake noise in their stadium, an accusation which Colts head coach Chuck Pagano termed as "an insult" to Indianapolis fans.
- Molly Geary and Will Green