"The report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly" - When NFL suspended Tom Brady for four games over Deflategate scandal
Tom Brady is widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League (NFL). With seven Super Bowl rings, three MVP awards, and numerous league records to his name, Brady has etched his name in the annals of NFL history.
However, in 2015, his legacy was marred when he was suspended for four games for his involvement in the deflategate scandal. The Deflategate scandal was a controversy that arose after the AFC Championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015.
The Colts had complained to the NFL that the Patriots had used underinflated footballs, which gave them an unfair advantage in the game. The NFL launched an investigation into the matter and found that 11 of the 12 footballs used by the Patriots in the game were underinflated.
The league also investigated Brady, who was the Patriots' starting QB back then. Independent investigator Ted Wells found that it was more likely that the star was generally aware of what was happening with the footballs.
The NFL subsequently suspended TB12 for four games for his role in the scandal and fined the franchise massively. NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent even penned a damning letter to the QB before doling out the punishment as per NFL.com:
"The report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence."
Brady and the Patriots vehemently denied any wrongdoing and challenged the suspension in court. However, their efforts were unsuccessful, and the QB ultimately served his four-game suspension at the start of the 2016 season.
The suspension was a significant blow to the Patriots. The team came back strong though by claiming their fifth Super Bowl in franchise history and Brady being named SB LI MVP.
How did Deflategate impact Tom Brady and Patriots' legacy?
The Deflategate scandal had far-reaching implications beyond the QB's suspension. It tarnished the reputation of the Patriots and raised questions about their integrity and sportsmanship.
In the years since the scandal, TB12 continued to excel at the highest level. However, the deflategate scandal remains a blemish on his legacy, with many fans and critics still questioning his involvement.
Tom Brady's suspension for his involvement in the deflategate scandal was a significant moment in the history of the NFL. It raised important questions about cheating in sports and the lengths some athletes and teams would go to gain an advantage.
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While the QB and the Patriots have gone on to win multiple more Super Bowls since, it remains a stain on their legacy and a reminder of the consequences of cheating in the NFL.