“I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” he said in a lengthy statement.
The Patriots easily defeated the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, in the AFC Championship game in January and went on to win Super Bowl XLIX over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Colts complained that Brady played the AFC game with footballs deflated below NFL standards. The move supposedly made them easier to throw accurately in bad weather. Each team provides their own game balls.
After a lengthy investigation the NFL fingered Jim McNally, the Patriot’s officials locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, the Pats’ equipment manager.
It said they deliberately released air from the team’s game balls after they were examined by referees. For his part, Brady was aware that McNally and Jastremski were doodling the balls, and did nothing about it.
The NFL cited text messages between McNally and Jastremski that suggested Brady knew what was going on. Brady, however, refused to turn over his cell phone for examination.
“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,” he said.
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.
Brady, 37, who is married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen, is one of the winningest quarterbacks in NFL history. Now, he’ll have this blemish on his legacy.
He thanked his family and fans for their support and said he looked forward to playing again in the upcoming season.
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