NFL punishments deflate beginning of Patriots 2016 season: Patriots face punishment for deflating game balls in playoffs

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New England Patriots' Quarterback Tom Brady faces the harshest of the penalties brought down by the NFL.

Devin Daley, Asst. Sports Editor

The reigning Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots, are facing an abundance of penalties for their deflating of footballs to give themselves a competitive advantage during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The punishments that have thus far been handed down are a $1 million fine for the organization, the loss of two draft picks, including their first pick in 2016, as well as a four game suspension for their franchise quarterback Tom Brady.

Opinions on the harshness of these penalties towards the organization, especially Tom Brady’s suspension, are greatly disputed. Many supporters of the Patriots and Brady believe that Brady’s involvement in the scandal didn’t warrant the four game suspension that the league handed him. These people see the four game suspension as the same punishment as someone who uses a performance enhancing drug, or PED, and don’t believe Brady’s actions are worthy of the same punishments. Supporters of the league’s decision claim that the Patriots cheated thereby jeopardizing the integrity of the game just as someone who uses PEDs would be doing.

However, the cheating isn’t the only reason for the harsh suspension, as the NFL has cited Brady’s lack of cooperation with the investigation. The most prominent part of this is his refusal to disclose text messages between him and the team managers who were in charge of the inflation of the footballs being used. Another factor that went into the length of the suspension was Brady’s continuing denial of having any knowledge of the deflation of the footballs. The NFL’s investigation found otherwise.

“The report established that there is substantial and credible evidence that you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots’ employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge,” NFL executive vice president Troy Vincent wrote in a letter to Brady explaining his suspension.

Whether or not Brady admits to knowing about the deflation of the footballs there is no doubt if he had been playing with properly inflated footballs before he would have definitely noticed a difference between those and the footballs in question. Brady’s denial of having any knowledge as well as his refusal to cooperate has made his level of guilt almost indisputable.

Whether or not Brady had any knowledge of the deflation of the footballs the Patriots organization is having yet another Super Bowl tainted by controversy.