The main union of NFL players promised Tuesday to fight the suspension of Tom Brady in court – noting faulty evidence connecting him to the deflated footballs.
“The Commissioner’s ruling today did nothing to address the legal deficiencies of due process,” the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) said in a statement. “The NFL had no policy that applied to players.”
The suspension against the New England Patriots quarterback was first imposed on May 11 after a league investigation. Brady was accused of purposely using underinflated footballs against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC championship game. Brady appealed the suspension but NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided Tuesday to uphold it.
“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,” a statement from the NFL said.
The main piece of evidence against Brady is that he destroyed his cell phone in an alleged attempt to cover up evidence. Prior to destroying his phone, the league had requested the chance to examine it for text messages related to the incident. The Patriots and the NFLPA, however, are both calling the evidence faulty.
“The fact that the NFL would resort to basing a suspension on a smoke screen of irrelevant text messages instead of admitting that they have all of the phone records they asked for is a new low, even for them,” the union noted. “But it does nothing to correct their errors.”
According to the NFLPA, there were no rules in place to justify the punishment. The league simply imposed a punishment based on a rule it didn’t have.
“The NFL resorted to a nebulous standard of ‘general awareness’ to predicate a legally unjustified punishment,” the NFLPA added. “The NFL had no procedures in place until two days ago to test air pressure in footballs.”
According to The Associated Press, the Patriots were also fined $1 million and lost a pair of draft picks. After the AFC championship, the Patriots went onto beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. The Patriots will begin the next regular season against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10.
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