In yet another Deflategate twist, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady insisted he was innocent in a rambling Facebook post Wednesday morning. Brady also slammed the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, though not by name, for what he describes as "unfair discipline" for his alleged role in the Deflategate debacle. The statement comes a day after the NFL decided to uphold its ruling suspending the lauded quarterback from four games during the 2015-2016 season.
The NFL and its commissioner stood by its findings that Brady likely knew about the altered air pressure of his footballs for January's A.F.C. championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. In a 20-page statement released Tuesday, the NFL alleged that Brady asked his assistant to destroy his cell phone on the day he met with league investigators in March. According to the NFL's statement, roughly 10,000 text messages were sent on Brady's phone between November 2014 and early March 2015. This new information seemed to confirm suspicions that the four-time Super Bowl champion not only knew about the altered footballs, but also destroyed evidence implicating him.
After declining to comment to the media, Brady took to Facebook Wednesday morning to let out some steam. "I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either," Brady wrote on Facebook. "The fact is that neither I, nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused."
In his lengthy post, Brady tried to dispel accusations that he tampered with evidence, including his old cell phone, to hide any knowledge about the deflated footballs. Goodell previously alleged that Brady "failed to cooperate with the investigation" by destroying his cell phone on March 6.
"Most importantly, I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January," Brady wrote. "To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong."
Brady also claimed he handed over text message records to investigators in May, when he appealed the NFL's four-day suspension. The Patriots quarterback said he even tried to retrieve that actual text messages from the phone company. "There is no 'smoking gun' and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing," Brady wrote in his Facebook post.
But the NFL, of course, is not convinced. It doesn't help that Brady and his legal counsel didn't inform the league about his destroyed cell phone until June 18, according to the NFL statement.
The Patriots also seem to think this investigation is about ruining Brady's legacy. "It is incomprehensible as to why the league is attempting to destroy the reputation of one of its greatest players and representatives," the team said Tuesday in a statement. "We cannot comprehend the league's position in this matter."
Brady, too, thinks he's being used by the league — and he's not having it. "I will not allow my unfair discipline to become a precedent for other NFL players without a fight," Brady wrote on Facebook.
And you better believe that Brady will fight. The NFL Players Association, the union that covers Brady, plans on taking his case to federal court in the near future.
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