Atlanta Falcons Fined $350,000 for Using Artificial Crowd Noise and Loses Fifth-Round Draft Pick

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Well it seems like the Atlanta Falcons are in a bit of trouble after violating NFL rules. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Falcons have recognized the use of pre-recorded crowd noise during home games during the 2013 season as well as into some of the 2014 season. According to NFL rules, “at no point during the game can artificial crowd noise or amplified crowd noise be played in the stadium”, and based on records the Falcons have now been hit with a $350,000 fine. In addition, they will also have to forfeit their fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL draft. If they have more than one pick in that fifth-round then the highest selection will be forfeited.

I’m sure Falcons fans are wondering how this could have happened. Well former director of event marketing Roddy White, (not the wide receiver with the same name) is reportedly directly responsible for this violation, and would have been suspended without pay for the first eight weeks of the upcoming 2015 regular season IF he had still been with the club.

If Mr. White gets hired by another NFL team during the 2015 season, then he may be obligated to serve some or all of this eight-week suspension.

President Rich McKay, who is the senior club executive and oversees game operations, claims he had no knowledge of Roddy’s use of an audio file containing artificial crowd noise, but because he oversees game operations and has a responsibility to ensure that rules and guidelines are followed properly, he has been suspended from the Competition Committee starting on April 1. McKay may petition to Commissioner Goodell for reinstatement to the committee no sooner than June 30.

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Arthur Blank, owner and chairman for the Atlanta Falcons released this statement:

“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.”

The Falcons need to get right. Losing draft picks is something we DO NOT need!

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