(NEW YORK) — Tom Brady’s agent says the NFL “deflategate” report citing the New England Patriots quarterback is “a significant and terrible disappointment.”
“Its omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later,” Brady’s agent Don Yee said in a statement Thursday morning.
The report, released Wednesday by the independent attorney hired by the NFL, concluded “it’s more probable than not” that Patriots personnel “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots games balls after the balls were examined by the referee.”
The investigation, led by attorney Ted Wells, stated it “is more than probable” that Brady “was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” involving the release of air from the Patriots’ footballs.
Brady has not publicly commented on the findings but he has a previously scheduled public interview Thursday evening where he will likely be asked about the news.
Yee went on to say he believes the report was based on a set-up.
“What does it say about the league office’s protocols and ethics when it allows one team to tip it off to an issue prior to a championship game, and no league officials or game officials notified the Patriots of the same issue prior to the game? This suggests it may be more probable than not that the league cooperated with the Colts in perpetrating a sting operation,” Yee said.
He went on to attack the lawyers behind the report, saying they were not independent and their report “contains significant and tragic flaws, and it is common knowledge in the legal industry that reports like this generally are written for the benefit of the purchaser.”
“It is a sad day for the league as it has abdicated the resolution of football-specific issues to people who don’t understand the context or culture of the sport,” Yee said.
Patriots CEO Robert Kraft said in a statement Wednesday, “To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship Game, would be a gross understatement.”
The NFL said it is considering “what steps to take in light of the report, both with respect to possible disciplinary action and to any changes in protocols that are necessary to avoid future incidents of this type.”
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