Insome sport leagues, cheating isn't tolerated under any circumstances. The participants are lambasted and publicly shamed, but that's not the case in the National Footbal League (NFL). As the deflategate scandal eyes the Supreme Court,cheating has been put in the national spotlight. Is the NFL too lenient on cheaters or is its policy effective? Let's examine.

Tom Brady vs. the Supreme Court

Tom Brady is the franchise quarterback of the New England Patriots and has enjoyed a successful career as its "golden boy." It seems that he can do no wrong, except for when his team was caught in the spygate scandal forrecording the opposing team's hand signals in 2007.

Coach Bill Belichick received the blamefor this situation and was fined $500,000, the highest amount allowed by the league. The team, itself, was fined $250,000.

Brady was embroiled in the deflategate scandal in 2015, which this time directly implicated him, resulted in a series of deflated game balls, and consequently led to the Patriot's 2014 Super Bowl win.It's now 2016 and Brady is to trying to convince theSupreme Court to take his case and overturn his four-game suspension verdict by the U.S. Court of Appeals.

Many Football fans are conflicted about the case. Some feel that Brady should pay for his actions and the four-game suspension a slap on the wrist. Others are unconcerned with Brady's debacle and simply shake off the controversy as an "everybody cheats" in the NFL scenario.

So that brings about the question, how do other leagues handle cheating scandals?

Notoriouscheating scandals

  • Major League Baseball (MLB)-- the MLBhas been rocked by cheating scandals, mostly due to doping and steroid use. It punishes its players by issuing the dreaded asterisk. This small, seemingly insignificant punctuation point identifies MLB stars who have broken records with the annotation that they won those records by cheating. Not only is this mark embarrassing, it's usually the primary cause that these players do not make it into the Hall of Fame. Barry Bonds, Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez are just a few of the players who have garnered the dreaded mark.
  • Cycling -- when cyclist Lance Armstrong admittedthat his record-breaking seven consecutive Tour de France wins were due to illegal doping, Armstrong was stripped of all of his victories and banned for life from racing by the World Anti-Doping Agency. He lost his racing contract with the U.S. Postal Service and became a disgrace among friends and colleagues. He's currently trying to rebuild his reputation.
  • Track and Field -- Marion Jones was the track star with the photogenic face. Generations of little girls looked up to her, until she was caught doping. As a result, she was disqualified from participating in the Beijing Olympics,her five track and field medals that she won in the Sydney Olympics were revoked, and she served served six months in prison.Like Armstrong, Jones has become a pariah.

How should the NFL respond?

So, the question remains, where do these scandals leave Brady?

For the most part, NFL players who are punished are punished for more severe crimes like animal cruelty (Michael Vick) or more heinous crimes like murder (O.J. Simpson). Doping doesn't usually garner more than fine and cheating, as in the case of Brady, usually warrants a fine and a suspension, so technically Brady's punishment is fair by NFL standards.

In fact, cheating is so common in the NFL that someone started a website called It tallies how many times each NFL team hasbeen caught cheating. The New York Jets lead the pack with a whopping 44 cheats while the Jacksonville Jaquars, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Arizona Cardinals are in a three-way tie for least amount of cheats with 12. The Patriots reached the median ground and have been caught cheating 20 times. So, yes, this supports the "everybody cheats" argument, but it still doesn't make it right. Obviously, the league has an epidemic and something more must be done.

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