The NFL laid the hammer down on the New England Patriots on Monday for their alleged violation of league policy relating to the Deflategate scandal.
Punishment includes the loss of a first-round pick in 2016, fourth-round pick in 2017, and a $1 million fine. Star quarterback Tom Brady was also suspended four games, pending an appeal.
For all intents and purposes, it was a strong-armed response from the National Football League.
One of commissioner’s Roger Goodell’s closest friends within the league, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, sent out a calculated response to the punishment his team received on Monday.
Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, far exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.
We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world,” Kraft said. “We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of the scientific evidence supported by the Ideal Gas Law in the final report. Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered.
Much like Brady, it doesn’t seem like the Patriots are going to take these sanctions without putting up a fight. The use of terms such as “circumstantial evidence” and “one-sided investigation” already shows a certain level of lawyer talk, something that may very well define this process moving forward.
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