Deflategate Update

0 Comments 22 May 2015

By Stephanie Buchbinder
Sports Editor

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has been punished with a four-game suspension without pay in relation to his probable involvement in the “Deflategate” scandal, which saw the Patriots using under-inflated footballs to gain an advantage in the playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts in January. The teams were competing for a spot in Super Bowl XLIX, which the Patriots went on to win.

In addition to Brady’s suspension, the NFL announced on May 11 that the Patriots were also being fined $1 million and would forfeit their first-round draft pick in 2016 and their fourth-round draft pick in 2017.

Attorney Ted Wells was hired by the NFL to investigate the scandal, and his findings confirmed that the team did, in fact, use deflated footballs to gain an unfair advantage against the Colts. Although it was not found that Brady had direct involvement with the deflation of the footballs, the report stated that “it is more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” of equipment assistant John Jastremski and locker room attendant Jim McNally. Jastremski has been with the team for 14 years and, according to CNN, has been in charge of preparation of game day footballs “for the past three years.” The league said that Jastremski and McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay since May 6 and cannot be reinstated without NFL approval.

Due to his suspension, Brady will not play in the first four regular season games of 2015 but will still be allowed to participate in training camp and other preseason activities.

Controversy has arisen out of the decisions, as some believe that Brady is not being punished in a harsh enough manner, while others believe he should not be punished at all. Brady’s agent Tom Yee defended Brady, saying that, “the discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis.”

The NFL Players Association has appealed the decision, claiming, in part, that there is “insufficient evidence” to punish Brady.

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