After NFL commissioner Roger Goodell upheld Tom Brady’s four-game suspension yesterday, the reaction ranged from outrage from the Brady to satisfaction from the league community.
Of course, we had not heard from the main principle…until now. For the first time since his pre-Super Bowl comments, Brady released a statement on Facebook:
I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.
Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was “probable” that I was “generally aware” of misconduct. The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused. He dismissed my hours of testimony and it is disappointing that he found it unreliable.
I also disagree with yesterdays narrative surrounding my cellphone. I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline.
Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong.
To try and reconcile the record and fully cooperate with the investigation after I was disciplined in May, we turned over detailed pages of cell phone records and all of the emails that Mr. Wells requested. We even contacted the phone company to see if there was any possible way we could retrieve any/all of the actual text messages from my old phone. In short, we exhausted every possibility to give the NFL everything we could and offered to go thru the identity for every text and phone call during the relevant time. Regardless, the NFL knows that Mr. Wells already had ALL relevant communications with Patriots personnel that either Mr. Wells saw or that I was questioned about in my appeal hearing. There is no “smoking gun” and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.
I authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to the NFL so that we could avoid going to court and put this inconsequential issue behind us as we move forward into this season. The discipline was upheld without any counter offer. I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight.
The Patriots, Don Yee (Brady’s agent), and the NFLPA each issued blistering responses to the NFL’s decision to uphold Brady’s supension.
It does appear that Brady was going against a stacked deck from the start. When the NFLran a reported $5 million operation to look into Deflategate, that was a major problem.
Goodell was never to going to completely dismiss a report of that magnitude. It would make the league look even weaker when it came to player discipline.
Regardless of where folks stand on Brady’s innocence at this point, the NFL is operating as a self-serving entity.
Remember, the integrity of the game concept they trotted out during this whole mess?
They were so worried about the game’s integrity involving the handling of footballs that they changed the rule…on Monday just days before most teams start rolling into training camp. If they were that concerned, this issue would have been addressed long ago.
Lastly, I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game. I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots.