Tom Brady’s agent, Don Yee, unloaded on the Deflategate report and accused the NFL of conducting a “sting operation” on Thursday.
Twenty-four hours later, Yee is back at it and is now downplaying the legitimacy of the conclusions reached in the report, saying the investigation could have easily exonerated his client.
On “The Dan Patrick Show,” Yee offered his own take on what the report meant when it said it was “more probable than not” that employees deliberately deflated footballs and that Brady was “at least generally aware of” what was going on.
“After three and a half months of an investigation and millions of dollars spent and dozens upon dozens of people interviewed … the investigators still concluded in their report that it was just more probable than not,” Yee told Patrick. “[That] means in lawyer-language, that’s 50.1% versus 49.9%, essentially a coin flip.”
Yee went on to argue that “if you draw a couple of inferences here and a couple of other conclusions here slightly differently, you get a completely different result.”
The problem with this argument is that it is overly simplistic.
Yes, “more probable than not” can mean 50.1% vs 49.9%, but it can also mean 100% vs 0% and anything in between. To call it a “coin flip” implies that the report was inconclusive.
Later, Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who is also a lawyer, was also a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show,” and countered Yee’s claims.
“[50.1%] is the legal standard,” Florio explained. “All they have to find is more probable than not. The evidence in this case is somewhere between 50.1% and 100%. All they have to find is 50.1%. Billions of dollars have changed hands in courts of law over the years based on the 50.1%-49.9% standard he is trying to downplay.”
Earlier, on his own website, Florio went further, explaining that “‘more probable than not’ equates to a ‘preponderance of the evidence,’ the standard that applies in most civil lawsuits.” He also argued that this standard is actually higher than the one used by the NFL in other cases where players are accused of violating the Personal Conduct Policy which only requires “credible corroborating evidence.”
The lesser standard has been used on many occasions as justification for suspension in the NFL, so it is hard to imagine that “more probable than not” will deter the NFL from suspending Brady.
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