Poll: Fans support NFL sanctions against Brady
NFL fans, by nearly a 2-1 margin, support the league’s sanctions against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the team, and more than half think Brady himself cheated in what has become known as Deflategate.
Langer Research Associates produced a national survey of 504 random Americans — including avid fans — asking them the following questions about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots and “Deflategate.”
Do you support or oppose the NFL’s action against Tom Brady and the Patriots?
Support: 63% | Oppose: 26% | No opinion: 11%
Support: 73% | Oppose: 24% | No opinion: 0%
Do you think Brady cheated or not?
Cheated: 54% | Didn’t: 35% | No opinion: 11%
Cheated: 69% | Oppose: 29% | No opinion: 2%
Do you think the Patriots cheated or not?
Cheated: 52% | Didn’t: 38% | No opinion: 10%
Cheated: 63% | Oppose: 34% | No opinion: 3%
Do you think this kind of thing is limited to the Patriots, or do you think it happens with other NFL teams as well?
Patriots: 6% | Others: 85% | No opinion: 9%
Patriots: 12% | Others: 80% | No opinion: 8%
Is the Patriots’ Super Bowl victory tainted because of this incident?
Tainted: 46% | Not: 49% | No opinion: 6%
Tainted: 42% | Not: 58% | No opinion: 0%
Would you support or oppose Brady being elected to the Football Hall of Fame at some point?
Support: 63% | Oppose: 28% | No opinion: 9%
Support: 73% | Oppose: 24% | No opinion: 4%
Do you think Brady is or is not a good role model for young people?
Good: 52% | Not good: 38% | No opinion: 10%
Good: 61% | Not good: 34% | No opinion: 5%
The ESPN/ABC News poll found that 63 percent of all fans surveyed, and 76 percent of self-described “avid” fans, supported the NFL’s decision to suspend Brady for four games, fine the Patriots $ 1 million and take away a first-round and fourth-round draft pick from the team for its involvement in the using underinflated footballs during a January playoff game. In addition, 54 percent of all fans and 69 percent of avid fans think Brady “cheated,” while 52 percent overall and 63 percent of avid fans think, regardless of Brady’s actions, the Patriots cheated.
The poll also found that 85 percent of all fans, and 80 percent of avid fans, think that other teams do similar things. Only 6 percent of all fans, and 12 percent of avid fans, think it was limited to the Patriots.
While fans support the decision to suspend Brady, they also strongly support him as a Hall of Fame candidate — 63 percent of all fans, and 73 percent of avid fans, say they support his eventual enshrinement in Canton. But only 52 percent overall see him as a good role model.
In terms of the Super Bowl, 46 percent of all fans, and 42 percent of avid fans, see the Patriots’ last-minute, 28-24 win over Seattle as “tainted.”
The survey, produced for ESPN and ABC News by Langer Research Associates, interviewed a random national sample of 504 adults on May 12 on landlines and cellphones. The overall margin of error is 5 percentage points.