The New England Patriots and their owner Robert Kraft remain defiant over allegations that the team purposely deflated balls in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game, but the American public isn’t so convinced.
On Monday, the team’s owner issued a public statement backing coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, both of whom had denied any knowledge or involvement in efforts to deflate balls. The league has been looking into allegations that the team purposely deflated balls to below standard pressure, and reportedly found that 11 of 12 balls tested were significantly below levels.
In a statement on Monday, Patriots owner Robert Kraft struck a defiant tone, calling out the media and the many people who “jumped to conclusions and made scarring accusations against our coach, quarterback and staff questioning the integrity of all involved.”
Kraft said he looks forward to the results of an investigation from Ted Wells, noting that the league owes the Patriots an apology if it is found there was no wrongdoing:
“If the Wells investigation is not able to definitively determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope that the League would apologize to our entire team and in particular, Coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure this past week. I am disappointed in the way this entire matter has been handled and reported upon. We expect hard facts as opposed to circumstantial leaked evidence to drive the conclusion of this investigation.”
But the American public doesn’t seem to be buying it. A poll conducted by the Emerson College Polling Society found that nearly half of those surveyed believe the New England Patriots are cheaters. But they didn’t seem to think what is now known as DeflateGate really matters too much, with 57 percent saying it’s not a big deal. Only 28 percent thought Bill Belichick should be suspended for the Super Bowl, and 25 percent thought Tom Brady should be suspended.
[Image via CBS Sports]