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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft slammed the NFL Wednesday morning for rejecting quarterback Tom Brady's appeal.
"The decision handed down by the league yesterday is unfathomable to me. It is routine for discipline in the NFL to be reduced on appeal," he said in a surprise appearance at a press conference at Gillette Stadium.
Kraft suggested it was wrong to draw conclusions about the destruction of Brady's cell phone. He also said he regrets that he did not appeal the league's punishment of the team back in May — the loss of two draft picks and a $1 million fine.
"I acted in good faith and was optimistic that by taking the actions I took, the league would have what they wanted," Kraft said. "I was willing to accept the harshest penalty in the history of the NFL for an alleged ball violation, because I believed it would help exonerate Tom."
But Tom is not exonerated — far from it. So now, the NFL Players Association will take Tom Brady's case to court. How will this all end?
Alan Milstein, prominent sports attorney in New Jersey.
- "Given his relationship with Goodell and his standing as owner of one of the NFL’s most visible franchises — and the reigning Super Bowl champion — Kraft’s statement was stunning."
- "I have never written, texted, emailed to anybody at anytime, anything related to football air pressure before this issue was raised at the AFC Championship game in January. To suggest that I destroyed a phone to avoid giving the NFL information it requested is completely wrong."
- "(O)n or about March 6, 2015 — the very day that he was interviewed by Mr. Wells and his investigative team — Mr. Brady instructed his assistant to destroy the cellphone that he had been using since early November 2014, a period that included the AFC Championship Game and the initial weeks of the subsequent investigation. ... At the time that he arranged for its destruction, Mr. Brady knew that Mr. Wells and his team had requested information from that cellphone in connection with their investigation."
- "The fact that the NFL would resort to basing a suspension on a smoke screen of irrelevant text messages instead of admitting that they have all of the phone records they asked for is a new low, even for them, but it does nothing to correct their errors. The NFLPA will appeal this outrageous decision on behalf of Tom Brady."
- "(A)s Brady makes his case to the league, Mike Greenway says the star quarterback has real science on his side."
- "For N.F.L. players, federal court in Minneapolis is a legal nirvana. Over nearly 40 years, cases filed there by players and their union have found favor in legal rulings by United States district court judges."
This segment aired on July 29, 2015.
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