The NFL came down hard on the Atlanta Falcons.
The league announced Monday that it would strip the Falcons of a 2016 fifth-round draft pick and fine the club $350,000 for pumping in artificial crowd noise during home games over the last two seasons. Additionally, the league suspended team president Rich McKay from the NFL competition committee.
Roddy White — the team’s former director of event marketing, not the wide receiver — was suspended without pay for the first eight weeks of the season. White was fired, so the suspension will go into effect if and when he’s hired by a new team.
The punishment was made official roughly six weeks after Falcons owner Arthur Blank admitted the team pumped in crowd noise during games at the Georgia Dome over the last two seasons.
“It’s not really a fine line,” Blank told The Associated Press in early February. “I think what we’ve done in 2013 and 2014 was wrong. Anything that affects the competitive balance and fairness on the field, we’re opposed to, as a league, as a club and as an owner.”
Atlanta went just 3-4 at home last season, not counting a technical “home game” in London.
Thumbnail photo via Jason Getz/USA TODAY Sports Images