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New Engand Patriots: Tom Brady treated unfairly over Deflategate

By The Sports Xchange
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New Engand Patriots: Tom Brady treated unfairly over Deflategate
New England Patriots Tom Brady enters Manhattan Federal Court in the Deflategate controversy in New York City on August 12, 2015. Brady is fighting a four-game suspension imposed by the league for his alleged role in the deflation of footballs before the AFC Championship Game, which propelled the Patriots toward their eventual Super Bowl title. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

New England Patriots team president Jonathan Kraft calls quarterback Tom Brady "an exceptional human being" who was treated unfairly by the NFL over Deflategate.

Last month Brady opted to drop his legal fight against the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell, and accept his four-game suspension.

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Kraft said he is upset with the way the league handled the long legal battle against the four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback.

"I think I want to start by saying Tom Brady is exceptional," Kraft said on 98.5 The Hub prior to Thursday night's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints. "We've talked about it a lot, but he's an exceptional human being. From our perspective, he's the type of professional athlete that you want to celebrate, hold up as an example, not only to other players in the league but hold up to kids that are playing the game, and just as somebody you want to model your life off of, not only as a professional athlete but how he is as a father to his children, a husband, a son to his parents, a brother to his sisters. He is as good of a human being as you can get.

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"And I think as I've told you before, if Tom was a lot younger and let's say he wasn't a football player but was the exact same guy and he married my daughter, I'd think my daughter had married the greatest guy in the world. He's exceptional.

"So for us, seeing him treated him in a way that we don't perceive to be fair eats at us greatly. And there's still a tremendous amount of, there's frustration around how the pure facts of science and lack of any type of tangible, hard evidence that certain people can look at those circumstances and then try to taint him or his legacy without that type of evidence.

"And that will always be a frustration that spurs anger here. Not having him play on the field, there will be an emptiness and you really feel for Tom, because you know how badly he wants to be out there."

Kraft's father, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, has consistently defended Brady and questioned the NFL's judgment against Brady.

Brady, who will miss the first four games of the upcoming regular season, made his decision to accept the ban two days after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied his appeal to rehear the case. The veteran quarterback and the NFL Players Association were asking for the full appeals court panel of judges to hear the case but it was rejected in a one-sentence decision issued July 13.

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On April 25, the three-judge appeals court panel ruled 2-1 that Goodell was within his powers when he suspended Brady for his alleged role to deflate the footballs used in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18, 2015.

The Patriots were docked $1 million and two draft picks for the scandal that became known as Deflategate.

Robert Kraft did not appeal the $1 million fine and the loss of a first-round pick in the 2016 draft and a fourth-rounder in 2017 as part of the penalties.

Brady will be eligible to return in Week 5 on Oct. 9 against the Cleveland Browns. He signed a two-year contract extension during the offseason that dropped his 2016 salary from $9 million to $1 million to save himself almost $2 million in lost salary during the suspension. His renegotiated deal deferred $8 million of his 2016 salary. He will be docked four-17ths of his $1 million base salary, or a total of $235,294.

"Tom's a very wise, smart, thoughtful person, and everybody in this building wanted to support Tom with whatever he felt was the right thing for Tom," Jonathan Kraft said.

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