The last thing Tom Brady wants right now is another dent in his image.
Unfortunately for the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback, 34 percent of the public has an unfavorable opinion of Brady after Deflategate, while only 21 percent has a favorable opinion, a recent poll found.
This same poll was conducted in December 2013, and at that time, 23 percent of the public had an unfavorable view of Brady, opposed to the 39 percent with a favorable view.
The most recent poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling between Aug. 28 and Aug. 30.
Even though the poll was conducted before Judge Richard Berman’s decision vacating Brady’s four-game suspension, Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, doubts the numbers would have improved.
“I think, if anything, Brady’s win in court might just make the public even madder at him,” Jensen told NBC News. “When the public believes that someone cheated and they get away with it unscathed, that just increases resentment toward that person.”
Other prominent athletes have endured hits to their images as well. LeBron James and Brett Favre saw a decline in their positive perceptions after “The Decision” and a sexting scandal, respectively.
Yet David Srere, co-CEO and chief strategy officer for Siegel and Gale, a New York brand strategy firm, believes if anyone’s image should be tarnished, it’s NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, according to NBC News.
“The irony of this is that Brady’s brand lifts the NFL brand,” Srere added.
Brady seemed anything but bothered by what Deflategate has wrought Thursday night, with the New England Patriots defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 on opening night. Brady was a sharp 25-of-32 passing for 288 yards and four touchdowns, and he’ll look to prove the haters wrong once again when the Patriots travel to Buffalo to face the AFC East rival Bills next Sunday.
Thumbnail photo via Mark L. Baer/USA TODAY Sports Images