An ESPN NFL Nation and ESPN The Magazine survey reveals 72 of 100 players believe the New England Patriots deflated footballs. However, 60 percent of the respondents believe the Patriots are not "cheaters."
A majority of NFL players believe the New England Patriots deflated footballs. They also believe they are not cheaters.
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ESPN conducted a survey of 100 players on the "DeflateGate" issue on Aug. 12. Seventy-two percent of them believe the Patriots tampered with football air pressure, per ESPN.go.com.
Only 16 percent of the respondents said they were "upset" about the issue. Sixty-eight percent thought other NFL teams are also capable of deflating footballs. Almost 60 percent believe the Patriots are not "cheaters," per ESPN.
Eighty percent of the players say Tom Brady's four-game suspension is too long. Eighty-eight percent think a committee should have disciplined Brady, per ESPN.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Brady's suspension on July 28. Yahoo! Sports' Frank Schwab reported on the matter.
Brady and Goodell appeared in federal court in New York on Wednesday. They appeared before Judge Richard M. Berman. According to ESPN, both sides could not reach a settlement.
NFL.com's Kevin Patra says the court appearance lasted seven-and-a-half hours.
The public accessed one period of the settlement conference. An ensuing session between the NFL and Brady was done behind closed doors, per NFL.com.
The NFL Players Association is backing up Brady in the "DeflateGate" issue, per ESPN.
"We won't be making a formal statement other than to say we had a productive day in court, and we'll get back to work on the issue. Thank you," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith told Patra.
Judge Berman repeatedly asked NFL lawyer Daniel Nash about direct evidence. This evidence pertained to Brady's link to tampered footballs, per NFL.com.
Berman asked Nash about phrases used in the Ted Wells report. Among these are "more probable than not" and "at least generally aware," per Patra.
Nash downplayed the value of the evidence. Instead, he stressed Goodell's authority to safeguard the best interests of the league. This same authority is clearly stated in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement.
Berman also questioned NFLPA lawyer Jeffrey Kelser. He asked why two Patriots locker room attendants would deflate footballs. Berman wondered why they would do this without Brady's knowledge, per NFL.com.
"He's the one who throws the ball," Berman quipped.
Berman also asked the NFLPA side why Brady didn't cooperate with the investigation. Kessler told the judge Brady just took the advice of his agent, Don Yee. Brady could have acted in a different manner without Yee's intervention, per Patra.
Berman questioned the NFL side for 45 minutes. He interrogated the NFLPA camp for 25 minutes, per NFL.com.
Patra says both sides could meet again on Aug. 19 to continue the hearing. They hope to resolve the issue by Sept. 4, per ESPN.
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