4 Ways Patriots Fans Are Painstakingly Supporting Tom Brady & The Team By Disputing The Punishment
New England Patriots fans are taking Deflategate just as seriously as lawyer Ted Wells, whose independent, 243-page report claimed quarterback Tom Brady's alleged involvement in — or at least knowledge of — the deflating of footballs to win the AFC championship was "more probable than not." Following the release of the Wells report, Brady was suspended for four games, and the Patriots were fined $1 million, in addition to forfeiting two draft picks in the upcoming years. The punishment was announced Monday, and by Tuesday, a group of four Patriots fans had begun protesting the suspension and fine outside the NFL's Manhattan offices, while dressed in Brady jerseys and other Patriots gear.
Holding signs that read "Fire Goodell," calling for the NFL commissioner's ousting, and "Hate Us Cause They Ain't Us," the protestors quickly abandoned their picketing plan in favor of waltzing into the NFL headquarter's lobby and handcuffing themselves together. They were subsequently kicked out, arrested, and held overnight in central booking.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft also considers the punishment excessive and fully supports Brady. In a much more sly show of solidarity, the Patriots' social media team has changed their Twitter avatar and Facebook picture to the back of Brady's jersey. Brady himself has stayed pretty mum on the subject but he has hired high profile lawyer Jeffrey Kessler to help appeal his suspension.
Getting arrested and spending a night in jail is just one of the many things Patriots fans have done to try and show their support for Brady and the team. Here's some of the other most interesting ways they've gone about it.
The Internet took to GoFundMe to support the Pats in a different sort of way. More than 1,000 fans have contributed nearly $15,000 to help pay the Patriots' fine. A Twitter account that is related to the GoFundMe page called the fine "classist." Given that the Patriots organization will actually profit from its punishment (it will make about $880,000, since Brady's suspension will save the team four of his paychecks — about $1.88 million altogether), it'll probably be able to swing the $1 million fine itself.
Creating Awareness Online
A social media campaign supporting Brady is also gaining steam on Twitter under the hashtag #NoBradyNoBanner in an attempt to get the Patriots to push back their Super Bowl XLIX banner unveiling until after Brady's suspension has ended. A Super Bowl banner unveiling is considered a big deal and usually takes place during the season home opener following a Super Bowl win, but it actually makes sense to wait until the Super Bowl MVP (in this case, Brady) can actually take the field.
Patriots fans continue to put their money where their "Free Brady" chanting mouths are by buying copious amounts of Brady gear. According to Fanatics.com, Brady's jersey has shot up to the number one spot on the NFL store and sales of associated merchandise has gone up 100 percent.
Patriots detractors are proving their commitment by way of purchases as well. A group of Jets fans took the #TomShady hashtag and turned it into a green and black billboard on the New Jersey turnpike, complete with "Jets" chant written right under it. Oh, and they've got t-shirts in that same eye-catching New York Jets green depicting Tom Brady deflating a football with the words "See you later deflator" just underneath.