(NEW YORK) — Attorney Ted Wells, who led the Deflategate investigation for the NFL, said on Tuesday they made a “fair and reasonable review” of what took place during last season’s AFC Championship Game.
“I think it is wrong to criticize my independence just because you disagree with my findings,” Wells said on a conference call Tuesday, referring to Tom Brady’s agent Don Yee who had blasted him after the report was released last week.
“We made a fair and reasonable review of the evidence,” Wells added. “Suggesting I was influenced by the league office. … That is wrong.”
Wells said Brady “answered every question I put to him” — but added that the legendary quarterback refused to submit his cell phone.
“Most of the key evidence in this case as in most cases come from people’s cellphones,” Wells said.
Brady will be suspended without pay for the first four games of the regular 2015 season, the NFL said Monday.
The New England Patriots will also be fined $1 million and will have to forfeit first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, the league said.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said Tuesday, “I sure wish that the NFL would spend about a tenth of the time that’s it’s spending on this on issues of domestic violence and sexual assault.”
She added, “I’m just struck by the fact that somebody like Ray Rice gets a two-game suspension and Tom Brady, over deflated balls, is facing a four-game suspension. It doesn’t add up for me.”
But NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Deflategate punishment on Monday, saying, “We reached these decisions after extensive discussion with Troy Vincent and many others.”
“We relied on the critical importance of protecting the integrity of the game and the thoroughness and independence of the Wells report,” Goodell added.
NFL Executive President Troy Vincent said in a letter to Brady released Monday: “The integrity of the game is of paramount importance to everyone in our league, and requires unshakable commitment to fairness and compliance with the playing rules. Each player, no matter how accomplished and otherwise respected, has an obligation to comply with the rules and must be held accountable for his actions when those rules are violated and the public’s confidence in the game is called into question.”
Yee said Brady will appeal the suspension.
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