Of more than 100 athletes polled by ESPN, 72% said they believe the New England Patriots were responsible for the deflating of the footballs ahead of the 2015 AFC Championship game, but 58% said they believe that the Patriots would not be considered cheaters.
Quarterback Tom Brady was handed down a four game suspension by commissioner Roger Goodell as an NFL-commissioned investigation by Ted Wells found that the four-time Super bowl champion was “at least generally aware” of the ball manipulation. According to the poll, 78% of players believe that Brady's suspension should be fewer than four games.
The Patriots may not be the only guilty party in the NFL as 68% of players said they believe other teams in the league tamper with footballs. More than 50% of players say they believe holding is the most common form of on-field cheating and that 30% of athletes cheat on the field in some way.
No settlement was reached between Brady and Goodell during the Deflategate hearing before Manhattan Federal Court Judge Richard Berman on Wednesday.
- Christopher Chavez