For those of you that were hoping that the NFL would reduce New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, you’re out of luck as the NFL has officially announced Brady will remain suspended for four games according to multiple sources around the National Football League.
The NFL released a full statement on Brady’s suspension:
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld today the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on May 11. Brady’s appeal from that discipline was heard for more than ten hours on June 23.
In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.
On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.
Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.
Brady was of course suspended for his role in Deflategate, and his appeal ruling was finally heard today. Brady will miss the Patriots first four games of course, but will return week 6 versus the Indianapolis Colts due to the Patriots having a bye week.
Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, also released a statement on Brady’s suspension being upheld:
“The Commissioner’s decision is deeply disappointing, but not surprising because the appeal process was thoroughly lacking in procedural fairness.
Most importantly, neither Tom nor the Patriots did anything wrong. And the NFL has no evidence that anything inappropriate occurred.
The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the Commissioner rubber-stamping his own decision. For example, the Wells investigative team was given over 100 days to conduct its investigation. Just days prior to the appeal hearing, we were notified that we would only have four hours to present a defense; therefore, we didn’t have enough time to examine important witnesses. Likewise, it was represented to the public that the Wells team was ‘independent’; however, when we requested documents from Wells, our request was rejected on the basis of privilege. We therefore had no idea as to what Wells found from other witnesses, nor did we know what those other witnesses said.
These are just two examples of how the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process.
Additionally, the science in the Wells Report was junk. It has been thoroughly discredited by independent third parties.
Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the Commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the Commissioner. Tom was completely transparent. All of the electronic information was ignored; we don’t know why. The extent to which Tom opened up his private life to the Commissioner will become clear in the coming days.
The Commissioner’s decision and discipline has no precedent in all of NFL history. His decision alters the competitive balance of the upcoming season. The decision is wrong and has no basis, and it diminishes the integrity of the game.”
Brady threw for 33 touchdowns and 4,109 yards last season, capturing his 4th Super Bowl ring.
[twitter-follow screen_name=’TheGD_Report’ show_count=’yes’]