More drama from other teams. How fun. As the New England Patriots come off their third loss in the past five games—suddenly looking quite vincible—they now have a minor controversy on their hands, and it’s of course yet another incident involving somebody associated with the organization recording opponents.
As the story goes, the Patriots sent a film crew to the Cleveland Browns’ home game versus the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday in order to document their pro advance scout, in attendance for the game. They are said to have gotten permission from the Browns to film there. Nobody informed the Bengals.
Cincinnati observed this Patriots-branded documenter trained on the Bengals’ bench in the first half, prompting an alert to stadium security, who subsequently interviewed the crew and ultimately confiscated the video. Reportedly, the cameraman generously offered to delete the footage and forget the whole thing.
But with the footage now in the league’s possession, reportedly, there was footage found of them taping the Bengals’ bench from the press box. The Patriots ultimately admitted this last night through an issued statement.
Statement from the New England Patriots. pic.twitter.com/rhXdwVvnr8
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 10, 2019
“While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight”, it reads in part. “In addition to filming the scout, the production crew — without specific knowledge of League rules — inappropriately filmed the field from the press box”.
It goes on to say that there was no intention of using the footage taken that day for any purpose beyond the production of a documentary series on the various roles within the organization, with several installment episodes of the documentary already up on the team’s website.
“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”, it went on.
It will be interesting to see if anything comes of this. Whether the film crew had any direct links to the coaching staff or whether they hadn’t known that they could not film the Bengals’ bench may be immaterial. It wouldn’t shock me if we see some sort of fine ultimately come from this.