|Perfect weather greets fans gathered for ‘Free Tom Brady’ rally at Gillette Stadium||05.24.15 at 2:49 pm ET|
For Patriots fans, it was picture perfect weather to rally behind their picture perfect quarterback.
According to the “Free Tom Brady” rally Facebook page, 600 people committed part of their Memorial Day Sunday to show their support for the embattled Patriots quarterback in Lot 4 of Gillette Stadium. Estimates had the attendance actually on site less than the 600 figure.
Fans held signs that read “Free Tom Brady” and “Fire Goodell,” voicing their displeasure over the four-game suspension that was handed down to Brady by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the quarterback’s role in Deflategate.
Brady has appealed the suspension through the Players Association, which requested last week that league commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself from hearing the appeal. Goodell’s lawyers have suggested he deny the union’s request.
Patriots fans across New England and the country have rallied around Brady, whom they feel has been an unfair target of the probe by Ted Wells and the NFL to look into why footballs were under inflated in the first half of the AFC championship game against the Colts.
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— Glenn Marshall (@Glenn_necn) May 24, 2015
|Poll: Do you agree with Robert Kraft accepting Patriots’ penalties for Deflategate?||05.19.15 at 2:09 pm ET|
With Robert Kraft accepting the penalties against the Patriots for their role in Deflategate, the simple question is, do you agree with Kraft’s decision?
Do you agree with Robert Kraft accepting the Patriots' penalties for Deflategate?
- No (87%, 5,202 Votes)
- Yes (13%, 783 Votes)
Total Voters: 5,985
|Transcript of Robert Kraft’s statement accepting Patriots’ penalties for Deflategate||05.19.15 at 1:45 pm ET|
At the NFL owners meetings in San Francisco, Robert Kraft spoke for roughly five minutes before announcing the team will accept its penalties (two draft picks and $1 million fine) for its role in Deflategate.
Here is the complete transcript of Kraft’s statement:
It’s been an emotionally charged couple of weeks, as all of you know, and I’ve been considering what my options are. And throughout this whole process, there have been two polarizing audiences. At one end of the spectrum, we’ve had Patriots fans throughout the country, who have been so supportive and really inspirational to us, and believing in us. But I’m also mindful at the other of the spectrum, there are fans that feel just the opposite. What I’ve learned is the ongoing rhetoric continues to galvanize both camps. And I don’t see that changing. They will never agree.
But the one thing that we all can agree upon is the entire process has taken way too long. And I don’t think anyone can believe that after four months of the AFC championship game, we are still talking about air pressure and the psi in footballs.
So I think I made it clear when the report came out that I didn’t think it was fair. There was no hard evidence and everything was circumstantial, and at the same time, when the discipline came out, I felt it was way over the top, as it was unreasonable and unprecedented in my opinion.
So I have two options. I can try to end it, or extend it. And I have given a lot of thought to both options. The first thing that came to mind is 21 years ago, I had the privilege of going to a meeting similar to what we’re at here, in Orlando, and being welcomed in an NFL owner’s meeting. So here’s a fan and former season ticket holder, living a dream and being welcomed in that room. And I got goosebumps that day. And I vowed at that time that I would do everything I could do to make the New England Patriots an elite team, and hopefully respected throughout the country, and at the same time, do whatever I could do to help the NFL become the most popular sport in America.
What I’ve learned over the last two decades is that the heart and soul of the strength of the NFL is the partnership of 32 teams. What’s become very clear over those two decades is that at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32. So I have way of looking at problems that are very strong in my mind and before I make the final decision, I measure nine times and I cut once.
And I think maybe if had made the decision last week it would be different than it is today. But believing in the strength of the partnership and the 32 teams, we have concentrated the power of adjudication of problems in the office of the commissioner. And although I might disagree with what is decided, I do have respect for the commissioner and believe that he’s doing what he perceives to be in the best interests of the full 32.
So in that spirit, I don’t want to continue the rhetoric that’s gone on for the last four months. I’m going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us and not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. And we won’t appeal.
Now I know that a lot of Patriots fans are going to be disappointed in that decision, but I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL. And I hope you all can respect that.
You know, I would normally take questions, but my desire is truly not to continue the rhetoric. So I’m going to leave this discussion exactly here. Thank you very much.
|Chris Russo on D&C: ‘There’s no way around it, [Tom Brady] deserves 2 games’||05.19.15 at 10:16 am ET|
Sirius XM radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo joined Dennis & Callahan on Thursday to debate the Tom Brady four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
Russo feels Brady deserves a two-game suspension for his role, but he did say the sanctions imposed against the team surprised him.
“I would not have given Brady four games, I would have given him two games,” Russo said. “He deserves two games. There’s no way around it, he deserves two games. The fine for Kraft, who cares? The [first-round pick] and the [fourth-round pick], you want to tell me that is too much? I didn’t think he would get the No. 1 pick. I could argue that, too. Yes, I definitely agree the punishment is too harsh.
“I don’t have a problem with [Brady’s suspension] and if you’re Goodell and you want to give him two games and you don’t suspend him and make it easy for him, what do you tell the Cleveland Browns, whose GM was suspended for a month in September because he sent text messages.”
Russo and the hosts went back and forth debating whether or not Brady deserves to be suspended at all. Russo acknowledged he didn’t read the Wells Report.
“I read what I had to read,” said Russo. “Two hundred forty-six pages? It’s not my job to read it. I have to analyze what [Roger] Goodell and [Ted] Wells feel? Do you think Roger Goodell would kick Brady out of four NFL games, three of which are huge TV property games because he wants to get back at the Patriots?”
Click here to listen to the audio of Russo’s debate with the D&C crew.
|Poll: How many games does Tom Brady actually miss?||05.14.15 at 4:45 pm ET|
|NFL players react to Tom Brady, Patriots’ discipline for Deflategate: ‘Well done @NFL’||05.11.15 at 6:50 pm ET|
Many NFL players took to Twitter to react to Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension, and the Patriots’ loss of draft picks as well as $1 million fine for their role in Deflategate.
Here are some of the best:
Did not see that one coming a milli and 4 gamesð
‘ Jameel McClain (@JameelMcClain) May 11, 2015
|Patriots players react to NFL’s penalties for Tom Brady, team: ‘This is absolutely ridiculous’||05.11.15 at 6:34 pm ET|
The NFL made a statement Monday afternoon as it announced significant penalties for Tom Brady and the Patriots in relation to Deflategate. Brady was suspended four games without pay, while the Pats were fined $1 million and docked a first-round pick in 2016 and fourth-round pick in 2017.
Some Patriots players reacted almost immediately on social media, and needless to say they are not thrilled.
THIS IS ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS!!! SMH ð¡ #PATSNATION STAND UP!!!!!
— LeGarrette Blount (@LG_Blount) May 11, 2015
— Chandler Jones (@Chan95Jones) May 11, 2015
— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) May 11, 2015