Brady Suspension Deflates Public Opinions of the NFL

New research from YouGov.

However you may feel about the NFL’s decision to fine and suspend Patriots QB Tom Brady, one thing is clear: the “scandal” marks yet another blow to the league’s reputation.

Our friends at the YouGov BrandIndex report that the NFL just got “sacked” for the third time in only nine months: just as the public had begun to forget its disapproval of the league’s behavior regarding multiple domestic violence scandals, football news took another turn toward the negative.

Here’s your chart:


Note the previous dropoffs, which coincide with the Ray Rice incident and the first stories about “Deflategate” in late January.

The news is mixed for the league, though: the key question in this survey was “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the past two weeks…was it positive or negative?”

The May drop accounted for a loss of 31 points on YouGov’s “Buzz Score” index, which is smaller than the 68-point drop following the Rice story and the 41-point decline sparked by initial revelations about Brady and his shrinking balls. So, while the public remains wary of the league, pro football will in all likelihood continue its uncontested ability to make everyone else jealous by bouncing back from a string of bad press.

YouGov offers no update on the relationship between Boston and New York, which we will call “contentious.”