The National Football League has recently announced that it has decided to uphold the suspension of New England Quarterback Tom Brady.
This is months following the investigation with regard to whether the Patriots were inflating their footballs at levels that are consistent with the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. Following this, Brady has also filed an appeal on his suspension.
Suspension without pay
Based on the findings of the independent inquiry conducted by Ted Wells of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recently announced that he has decided to suspend Brady without pay for the first four games of the 2015 regular season.
The decision to uphold the star quarterback’s suspension may have been because of a key piece of evidence that took place on or about the same day as Brady’s interview with Wells and his team.
As Goodell explained, “The most significant information that emerged in connection with the appeal was evidence that on or about March 6, 2015 – the very day that he was interviewed by Mr. Wells. and his investigative team – Mr. Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone that he had been using since early November 2014, a period that included the AFC Championship Game and the initial weeks of the subsequent investigation.”
In a period of four months, it was found that Brady received or sent nearly 10,000 text messages with the destroyed cellphone. Moreover, Brady had reportedly arranged for the cellphone to be destroyed even if “repeated requests” for information from the said gadget was given.
Meanwhile, also part of the evidence that decided on Brady’s suspension was that the quarterback “failed to cooperate with the investigation” by declining to provide access to “highly relevant” information in the form of emails and text messages.
New England Patriots support Tom Brady
Following the ruling of Commissioner Goodell, the New England Patriots released a statement expressing their support for their team mate.
It said, “We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell. We cannot comprehend the league’s position in this matter. Most would agree that the penalties levied originally were excessive and unprecedented, especially in light of the fact that the league has no hard evidence of wrongdoing. We continue to unequivocally believe in and support Tom Brady. We also believe that the laws of science continue to underscore the folly of this entire ordeal. Given all of this, it is incomprehensible as to why the league is attempting to destroy the reputation of one of its greatest players and representatives.”
Meanwhile, Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, also issued a statement in support of the quarterback, which ESPN’s Adam Schefter posted on his Facebook page.
Yee said, ” The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits. In fact, the evidence shows Tom clearly emphasized that footballs be set at pressures within the rules. Tom also cooperated with the investigation and answered every question presented to him. The Wells Report presents significant evidence, however, that the NFL lacks standards or protocols with respect to its handling of footballs prior to games; this is not the fault of Tom or the Patriots. The report also presents significant evidence the NFL participated with the Colts in some type of pre-AFC Championship Game planning regarding the footballs. This fact may raise serious questions about the integrity of the games we view on Sundays. We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic. The NFL has a well-documented history of making poor disciplinary decisions that often are overturned when truly independent and neutral judges or arbitrators preside, and a former federal judge has found the commissioner has abused his discretion in the past, so this outcome does not surprise me. Sadly, today’s decision diminishes the NFL as it tells its fans, players and coaches that the games on the field don’t count as much as the games played on Park Avenue.”