Tom Brady says he is disappointed by decision to uphold suspension
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he is disappointed about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision to uphold his four-game suspension for his alleged role in using underinflated footballs and also says he disagreed with the narrative surrounding the destruction of his cell phone.
The NFL, in its decision, said that Brady told an assistant to destroy his cell phone on or just before March 6, as Brady was to meet with independent investigator Ted Wells that very day. The league started investigating after claims that the Patriots used deflated footballs during their AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady took to Facebook on Wednesday morning to express his frustration with the decision.
Brady, a 10-time Pro Bowler, three-time Super Bowl MVP and two-time NFL MVP, said he and the Patriots did nothing wrong.
“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 wrote.
Brady's agent, Don Yee, said Goodell “failed to ensure a fair process” and called the appeal process “a sham.” The appeal was heard by Goodell despite the NFL Players Association’s request that he recuse himself from the proceedings.
The league said that Brady was less than forthcoming during the 10-hour appeal meeting and focused on the destruction of the cell phone that they believed had crucial evidence on it.
The NFL said that 10,000 text messages from the phone could not be retrieved. Brady said that Wells had all relevant communications with Patriots personnel and there was no “smoking gun” to suggest he ordered staff members to deflate footballs.
“I also disagree with yesterday’s narrative surrounding my cellphone,” Brady wrote. “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. As a member of a union, I was under no obligation to set a new precedent going forward, nor was I made aware at any time during Mr. Wells investigation, that failing to subject my cell phone to investigation would result in ANY discipline."
Brady says he authorized the NFLPA to make a settlement offer to avoid going to court, but the suspension stood without any counter offer.
"I respect the Commissioners authority, but he also has to respect the CBA and my rights as a private citizen. I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight," Brady says.
The NFLPA said in a statement that Goodell’s ruling “did nothing to address the legal deficiencies of due process” and will continue to appeal the decision. The appeal will likely happen in federal court.
The NFL asked a federal court in Manhattan to uphold and confirm Brady’s suspension before Brady has a chance to file a lawsuit.
- Scooby Axson
GALLERY: TOM BRADY AND CONTROVERSY