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New England Patriots respond to ‘DeflateGate,’ say report ‘dismisses scientific explanation’

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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (May 14, 2015) – The New England Patriots struck back at the “DeflateGate” report released last week following a months-long investigation ordered by the NFL.

Last week’s report essentially said Tom Brady and a pair of Patriots employees conspired to deflate footballs during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts. The league suspended Brady for four games and fined the team $1 million after the report was released. The NFL also stripped the Patriots of two draft picks.

The Patriots have vehemently denied the allegations since the story broke in January. In a new report released Thursday, the Patriots’ counsel blasted Ted Wells’ report, saying it lacks context and ignores scientific evidence.

The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context. The Report dismisses the scientific explanation for the natural loss of psi of the Patriots footballs by inexplicably rejecting the Referee’s recollection of what gauge he used in his pregame inspection. Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot. There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. All the extensive evidence which contradicts how the texts are interpreted by the investigators is simply dismissed as “not plausible.” Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored.

These points, and others, are addressed in greater detail in the following Annotations to the Executive Summary of the Wells Report by Daniel L. Goldberg, a senior partner in the Boston office of Morgan Lewis and who represented the Patriots and was present during all of the interviews of Patriots personnel conducted at Gillette Stadium. Our intention is to provide additional context for balance and consideration.

The Patriots’ rebuttal says Brady was not involved in a plot to use deflated footballs and asserts that text messages used as evidence of the plot were misinterpreted and distorted.

As to the texts, which are discussed later, there is not a single text which refers to a plan to deflate footballs after the referee’s inspection, to having done so, to any Brady instructions to do so, or to any knowledge by Mr. Brady of such conduct. It is pure surmise and speculation that every deflation reference in a text is to improper deflation of footballs after the referee inspected them.
In short, there is simply no evidentiary support for the conclusion that Mr. Brady was aware of any actual or even attempted effort to improperly release air from the footballs. All the evidence — as well as logic — is to the contrary.

Brady is expected to appeal his suspension by the league. He faces a 5 p.m. deadline to file the appeal.

Read the full Patriots’ response here.

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