Tarnished shield? Do series of recent NFL scandals impact the league’s integrity

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NEW YORK —  While most NFL players are in the midst of battling for a spot on the week 1 roster, or in the case of the Jets, simply battling in the locker room, there was the NFL's Super Bowl MVP, Tom Brady, forging straight through the media amidst chants of support from fans and into the doors of the U.S. Southern District Courthouse in Lower Manhattan.

The latest NFL scandal has Brady scrambling for a reduction in his 4-game suspension.  The "Deflategate" saga not only has the eyes of various sports channels but also news outlets from the city up the coast to Boston, and while a calm and collected Brady focused on the end result inside of federal court.

PIX11 News exited the proceedings to connect with those that are not only paying for the legal discourse but also happen to be the majority of those supporting the NFL --- the American taxpayer.  The goal was not to hear how Weston Davis views Brady, which by the way he characterized Brady as being, "Lousy, cheater."

But more so to find out how fans view what Commissioner Roger Goodell has described as, the shield and to examine if the integrity of the league has been tarnished in the eyes of the fan as a result of the various significant scandals that have emerged in recent years.

"I think it's always had a lot of issues, it's just that everything is being reported now," said Jama, a fan who went on to add that, "You've got to be able to separate what the product that is on the field and guys earning a living and playing that sport versus their personal lives. People always have problems in their personal lives."

Steve Davis is the father of Weston. While he admits that he doesn't feel any differently about the league or his favorite team, the Cowboys, he did reveal that he and his son have had discussions that are first for him, "We talk about how important it is to have certain morals and have integrity both off the field and on the field."

When asked if the are the conversations that he is having with his son today, are the type of conversations he had with his father about sports? Davis quickly responded, "No absolutely not.  I think they are much different. We didn't really discuss that back then."

Tiffany Cayetano, a lifelong Giants fan and the mother of 6-month-old attributes the surge in NFL notoriety to the way journalists and fans are tackling it on air as well as through social media, "Now I feel like it's more in the limelight so everybody is more interested in it. It doesn't affect me."

As for her husband Oscar Cayetano? He feels that at times a big top may suit it better than 100-yards of grass, "Sometimes it's a circus."

However, he also adds that in the midst of it all, "I love the game. I love football. I love watching it.  I love being with my family and watching it.  To me it's like, I don't think it's tarnished the shield at all."