Tom Brady’s four-game ‘Deflategate’ suspension upheld; quarterback says ‘I did nothing wrong’

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. (Photo: Getty Images)

NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the four-game suspension of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the “Deflategate” incident in which the team was found to have used underinflated footballs for an advantage in the AFC Championship Game.

In the league’s release, it stated “important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives” during his appeal hearing came into play.

“On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed,” the league statement read.

“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ‎During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.”

As a result, Goodell did not shorten the initial punishment. Brady and the players union likely will go to court to try to overturn the suspension.

Later on Tuesday, ESPN’s Jim Trotter reported Brady would not take Goodell’s ruling lightly, indicating the quarterback had authorized the NFL Player’s Association to appeal the suspension in federal court.

Here’s the full statement from the NFL regarding Goodell’s decision:

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld today the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on May 11. Brady’s appeal from that discipline was heard for more than ten hours on June 23.

In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.

On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.

Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.

The Patriots earlier were fined $1 million and forfeited its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft. The team did not appeal the the league announced.

On Wednesday morning, Brady took to Facebook to respond to Goodell’s decision.

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