Tom Brady, the New England Patriots’ star quarterback, has released a statement in response to the recent Deflategate report, calling it “a significant and terrible disappointment.”
The NFL’s independent investigator, Ted Wells, released the report on Wednesday, May 6, saying that it was very “probable” that at least two New England Patriots’ employees let the air out of the game footballs, below the league-mandated minimum of 12.5 pounds per square inch. Brady, a four-time Super Bowl winner, “was at least generally aware” of what was happening, according to Fox Sports.
Below is Brady’s statement, made through his agent, Donald H. Yee, in its entirety.
“The Wells report, with all due respect, is a significant and terrible disappointment. It’s omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later. One item alone taints this entire report. What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation. The Wells report buries this issue in a footnote on page 46 without any further elaboration.
“The league is a significant client of the investigators’ law firm; it appears to be a rich source of billings and media exposure based on content in the law firm’s website. This was not an independent investigation and the contents of the report bear that out — all one has to do is read closely and critically, as opposed to simply reading headlines. The investigators’ assumptions and inferences are easily debunked or subject to multiple interpretations. Much of the report’s vulnerabilities are buried in the footnotes, which is a common legal writing tactic.
“It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don’t understand the context or culture of the sport. I was physically present for my client’s interview. I have verbatim notes of the interview. Tom made himself available for nearly an entire day and patiently answered every question. It was clear to me the investigators had limited understanding of professional football. For reasons unknown, the Wells report omitted nearly all of Tom’s testimony, most of which was critical because it would have provided this report with the context that it lacks. Mr. Wells promised back in January to share the results of this investigation publicly, so why not follow through and make public all of the information gathered and let the public draw its own conclusions? This report contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Troy Vincent, the league’s executive vice president of football operations, will decide on the possible penalties for Brady. They will also be looking into the possibility of the game-day process for delivering footballs to the field being changed.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he is disappointed and doesn’t believe that any of his staff did anything to violate the NFL’s rules.
“To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game, would be a gross understatement,” Kraft said, according to CNN.
What do you think about the Deflategate report’s findings? Do you think Tom Brady was involved? Leave your comments below.
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