Falcons fined $350,000, lose 5th-round pick, Rich McKay suspended from competition committee

Atlanta Falcons team president Rich McKay has been suspended from the NFL competition committee for at least three months and the team lost a fifth-round pick and was fined $350,000 after acknowledging that the team piped in crowd noise for two years, a violation of NFL rules. "Our review concluded that Roddy White, the team’s former director of event marketing, was directly responsible for the violation," NFL vice president of football operations Troy Vincent said. " Mr. White would have been suspended without pay for the first eight weeks of the 2015 regular season had he still been with the club. If Mr. White obtains employment with another NFL team during the 2015 season, he may be required to serve some or all of this suspension. "Our review also determined that Falcons ownership and senior executives, including team President Rich McKay, were unaware of Mr. White's use of an audio file with artificial crowd noise. However, Mr. McKay, as the senior club executive overseeing game operations, bears some responsibility for ensuring that team employees comply with league rules. As a result, Mr. McKay will be suspended from the Competition Committee beginning April 1. He may petition Commissioner Goodell for reinstatement to the committee no sooner than June 30. We appreciate the courtesy and cooperation the Falcons organization extended during our inquiry." Falcons owner Arthur Blank issued an apology for the incident. "What took place was wrong and nowhere near the standards by which we run our business," Blank said. "Anytime 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. The League conducted a thorough investigation of this matter, and we cooperated fully.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 Falcons and all of our other businesses are built upon a foundation of values that drive our decision making. This issue was a clear failure in that regard. I apologize for any embarrassment this situation has caused the NFL, our fans, and our Falcons players and associates.” Follow me on Twitter: @RavensInsider Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun
Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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