Tom Brady responds to suspension, attorney calls appeal process ‘a sham’

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BOSTON — An attorney and agent for New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said his client has done nothing wrong and the National Football League didn’t hold a fair hearing into the star’s four-game suspension for his alleged role in tampering with footballs before the AFC Championship game.

“The appeal process was a sham, resulting in the commissioner (Roger Goodell) rubber-stamping his own decision,” Don Yee wrote. The quarterback cooperated with the investigation and at an appeals hearing, Yee said.

“Finally, as to the issue of cooperation, we presented the commissioner with an unprecedented amount of electronic data, all of which is incontrovertible. I do not think that any private citizen would have agreed to provide anyone with the amount of information that Tom was willing to reveal to the commissioner. Tom was completely transparent.”

The National Football League has upheld a four-game suspension of New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady for his role in the football tampering scandal known as “Deflateglate,” the league announced in a news release Tuesday.

Commissioner Roger Goodell, in affirming the suspension he handed down in May, said new information about the destruction of Brady’s cell phone showed the four-time Super Bowl champion “sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”

The destruction of the cell phone wasn’t disclosed until June 18, almost four months after investigators had requested electronic information from Brady.

Goodell’s decision is the latest chapter in a controversy that started when the New England Patriots were accused of using under-inflated footballs to gain a competitive advantage in January’s AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Brady denied involvement but the NFL suspended him four games without pay in May. Brady appealed, setting up the decision by Goodell.

The NFL Players Association said it would file an appeal, presumably in federal court, on Brady’s behalf.

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