Falcons docked a 2016 draft pick for fake crowd noise

Flowery Branch, GA (SportsNetwork.com) – The Atlanta Falcons were fined
$350,000 and will have to forfeit a fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft for
using artificial crowd noise during home games for the last two seasons.

An NFL review determined a team executive pumped in the crowd noise throughout
the 2013 season and into the 2014 campaign before the team was notified of the
situation last November.

“What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our
business,” said Falcons owner Arthur Blank in a statement Monday. “Any time
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.

“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 league concluded that Roddy White, the team’s former director of event
marketing, was directly responsible for the violation and that no other
Falcons executive had knowledge. White, who is no longer with the team, would
have been subjected to an eight-game suspension and could still face league
discipline if he obtains another job in the NFL.

Falcons president Rich McKay, despite not being directly involved, was
suspended from the NFL’s Competition Committee for at least three months. He
can petition NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstatement to the committee
no sooner than June 30.