At a time when some current and former NFL players are suggesting that New England deflating footballs (if it happened deliberately) is no big deal, one current NFL players whose team faced the Patriots in the postseason contends that it is.
Appearing on Wednesday’s Pro Football Talk on NBCSN, Ravens defensive lineman Chris Canty compared deflating footballs to using steroids or other banned substances.
“The Patriots are habitual line-steppers,” Canty said during an in-studio appearance. “If the allegations are true, then you are talking about attacking the integrity of our game and I have an issue with that. . . . [W]hat I’m going to say about the deflating of the balls, to me there is no difference than performance-enhancing drugs. You are cheating at that point. You are getting a competitive advantage outside of the rule book and there has to be some sort of consequences for that.”
Canty’s opinion sounds a lot like the NFL’s position that, when it comes to topics impacting the integrity of the game, serious action is required.
“To me, the integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Canty said. “You want to be successful as a player but you want to think that you are doing things that are within the rules and that you are out there competing and it’s not, whether it is performance-enhancing drugs or deflated footballs that is out there aiding in your performance.”
Canty disputed the report that some Ravens players believed kicking balls were underinflated during the divisional-round loss to the Patriots, pointing out that the kicking balls aren’t handled by the home team. But his views regarding the possible deflation of balls by the Patriots are strong — and there’s a chance that the NFL’s views will be equally strong, if it’s determined that the deflation didn’t happen by accident.