Patriots owner Robert Kraft: 'Tom Brady has our unconditional support'
New England Patriots' owner Robert Kraft released a statement Monday illustrating his disappointment in what he termed a "one-sided investigation," and saying that Tom Brady has the unconditional support of the team.
“Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered," Kraft said Monday, just hours after Brady was suspended from the team's first four games of the 2015 NFL season.
The Patriots were also fined $1 million and two team employees were suspended from the team without pay indefinitely.
The suspension comes in the wake of a report released by attorney Ted Wells that found that it was "more probable than not" that the Patriots deflated balls during last season's AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
In a letter to the Patriots, NFL executive vice president of football operations Troy Vincent suggested that the AFC Championship Game was not the first time that the Patriots had knowingly deflated footballs, citing undisclosed evidence dating back to before the start of the 2014 season.
At a press conference in January, Brady said he "didn't alter the balls in any way" and "would never have someone do something that was outside the rules."
“Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence," Kraft said in the statement.
“We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report," Kraft said.
Brady's agent announced the quarterback would appeal his suspension.
You can see how Brady's suspension compares to other disciplinary actions handed down by the NFL in recent seasons by clicking here.