AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
Tom Brady arrived in a federal New York court this morning for a hearing in the headline-making Deflategate case, looking about as good as we've ever seen him despite the circumstances.
The 38-year-old New England Patriots quarterback was previously suspended for the first four games of the 2015 season following an extensive investigation into whether the New England Patriots intentionally let air out of the footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. He appealed the decision in a hearing on June 23 that lasted more than 10 hours, but the suspension was ultimately upheld by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Following the suspension, the NFL Players Association and the star quarterback filed a federal lawsuit to have the punishment overturned. Today, the two parties faced off in court although no settlement was reached. Per ESPN, the next court date is set for Aug. 19.
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In May, independent investigator Ted Wells issued a 243-page report which concluded that it was "more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally [Jim McNally, the Patriots locker room attendant who referred to himself as "the Deflator"] and [equipment assistant John] Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls."
NFL Executive President Troy Vincent also released an open letter to the Patriots at the time saying "it is impossible to determine whether this activity had an effect on the outcome of games or what that effect was."
"There seems little question that the outcome of the AFC Championship Game was not affected," he said. "But this has never been a significant factor in assessing discipline. There are many factors which affect the outcome of a game. It is an inherently speculative exercise to try to assign specific weight to any one factor. The key consideration in any case like this is that the playing rules exist for a reason, and all clubs are entitled to expect that the playing rules will be followed by participating teams. Violations that diminish the league's reputation for integrity and fair play cannot be excused simply because the precise impact on the final score cannot be determined."
Brady's agent Donald Yee blasted the Wells report and said it contained "significant and tragic flaws."
In a recent Facebook post, Brady maintained that he "nor any equipment person, did anything of which we have been accused."
"I am very disappointed by the NFL's decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me. I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either," he wrote. "Despite submitting to hours of testimony over the past 6 months, it is disappointing that the Commissioner upheld my suspension based upon a standard that it was 'probable' that I was 'generally aware' of misconduct."