DENVER — The Broncos will have to do without star safety T.J. Ward for one game to start the regular season after the NFL handed down a one-game suspension Thursday for a case dating to May 2014.
Ward was accused of throwing a mug at a bartender at a Denver strip club. His misdemeanor charge was eventually dropped in exchange for community service, but the league is taking the incident seriously. Ward will sit out the game against the Baltimore Ravens.
This suspension came the same day New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his fight against the NFL in the “deflategate” saga. A judge threw out the four-game suspension imposed for his alleged involvement with the underinflated balls in the 2014 AFC Championship Game.
Broncos fans said the two players are being treated differently.
“That is not fair. I am not happy with the verdict,” Rene Maisel said. “It’s whoever is highest profile with the most money and bringing the most bank to the team.”
Ward issued a statement in response to the NFL’s decision:
I take full responsibility for the incident that occurred in May 2014 and am willing to accept the consequences of my actions by serving my one game suspension. Although I was never arrested and all charges against me were ultimately dismissed, I have no one to blame but myself for being in the predicament that evening. To the Denver Broncos organization, the Bowlen family and to the Denver Bronco fans, I want to apologize for my conduct. I have learned from my mistakes and will continue to be a pillar in the community to make myself a stronger person and player for the Denver Broncos.