I’m very, very disappointed that the four-game suspension was upheld. Makes very little sense.
In light of yesterday’s league ruling, I felt it was important to make a statement today, prior to the start of training camp. After this, I will not be talking about this matter until after the legal process plays itself out and I would advise everyone in the organization to do the same and just concentrate on preparation for the 2015 season.
The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced upon appeal. In the vast majority of these cases there is tangible and hard evidence of the infraction for which the discipline is being imposed and still the initial penalty gets reduced. Six months removed from the AFC Championship game, the league still has no hard evidence of anybody doing anything to tamper with the psi level of footballs.
I continue to believe and unequivocally support Tom Brady. I first and foremost need to apologize to our fans because I truly believe that what I did in May, given the actual evidence of this situation and the league’s history on discipline matters, would make it much easier for the league to exonerate Tom Brady. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
The league’s handling of this entire process has been extremely frustrating and disconcerting. I will never understand why an initial erroneous report regarding the psi level of footballs was leaked by a source from the NFL a few days after the AFC Championship game was never corrected by those who had the correct information. For four months, that report cast aspersions and shaped public opinion.
Read more of the transcript of today’s speech by Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft: http://www.patriots.com/news/2015/07/29/robert-kraft-press-conference-transcript