Patriots Explain Bengals Video Controversy, ‘Accept Full Responsibility’


December 9, 2019

A New England Patriots production crew member inadvertently violated NFL protocol by filming portions of Sunday’s Cincinnati Bengals-Cleveland Browns game from the Browns’ press box, the team claimed.

In a team statement released Monday night, the Patriots acknowledged a production staffer “without specific knowledge of league rules … inappropriately filmed the field from the press box” while shooting B-roll for the “Do Your Job” web series, which profiles behind-the-scenes contributors in the Patriots organization.

“The sole purpose of the filming was the provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the statement read. “There was no intention of using the footage for any other purpose. We understand and acknowledge that our video crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, unknowingly violated a league policy by filming the field and sideline from the press box.

“When questioned, the crew immediately turned over all footage to the league and cooperated fully. The production crew is independent of our football operation. While aware that one of the scouts was being profiled for a ‘Do Your Job’ episode, our football staff had no other involvement whatsoever in the planning, filming or creative decisions made during the production of these features.

“We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game.”

In the statement, which can be read in its entirety below, the Patriots also called their failure to notify the Bengals or the NFL of their plans to have a camera crew present “an unintended oversight.” The team did receive permission from the Browns to shoot in the press box at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” that he and his football staff had “zero involvement” in any filming at Cleveland’s stadium.

The NFL is investigating the incident. The 10-3 Patriots will visit the 1-12 Bengals on Sunday.

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