A few days ago I wrote that the NFL had one last chance to save face by overturning their ridiculous penalties handed down to the New England Patriots and star quarterback Tom Brady over the Deflategate saga.
The league has handed down its verdict, and Tom Brady will serve his four-game suspension in its entirety. It now looks likely that the matter will make it’s way in to the courts.
It was a massive opportunity lost for the NFL, who have once again put on a circus for all of us to enjoy.
The NFL has upheld Brady’s suspension for something they cannot prove took place, whilst reducing Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell’s three-game ban for cannabis possession and a DUI charge to two games.
I won’t even bother with the Ray Rice case.
Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a comprehensive report supporting his ruling that it was “probably” that Tom Brady was “generally aware” of misconduct.
Really? Still no concrete evidence? Good to see that one of the world’s leading sports organisations isn’t letting facts get in the way of anything.
I asked if anyone could delve in to the Wells Report and find some evidence of any legitimate wrongdoing, but it seems that nobody can.
Brady and the Patriots have both released statements following the verdict, and continue to push their case, and rightfully so, with the reigning Super Bowl champions throwing their support behind the legendary number 12.
“We are extremely disappointed in today’s ruling by Commissioner Goodell”, said the Patriots in an official statement.
“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.”
The support has been reciprocated right around the world on social media platforms, with the general view being that the NFL has done wrong by the New England organisation and one of it’s greatest stars.
Brady also released a statement on the matter, voicing his disappointment that the NFL continued to disregard facts in favour of unproven “probabilities”.
“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 hope Brady and the NFL Players Association take the league to court, and sue them. Brady will beat them like he beats everyone on the field.
Tom Brady’s complete statement can be found here.
(PHOTO: Scott Halleran/Getty Images)