The NFL has denied Tom Brady’s appeal and upheld his four-game suspension for his involvement in the Deflategate scandal.
One of the most intriguing pieces of new information to come out of the report is that Brady had his assistant destroy his cell phone the day he met with the NFL.
According to the NFL’s 20-page decision, Brady destroyed the cell phone he had been using since November 2014 on or around March 6, 2015 — the day he met with NFL investigators for the Wells report to talk about why the balls were deflated during the AFC title game.
Brady’s legal council didn’t tell the NFL that the cell phone was gone and the 10,000 texts messages on it couldn’t be retrived until June 18, a few days before his appeal hearing.
The NFL found this suspect. From the decision:
“Mr. Brady’s direction that his cell phone (and its relevant evidence) be destroyed on or about March 6 is very troubling. Rather than simply failing to cooperate, Mr. Brady made a deliberate effort to ensure that investigators would never have access to information that he had been asked to produce. Put differently, there was an affirmative effort by Mr. Brady to conceal potentially relevant information and to undermine the investigation.”
From the NFL release:
On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.
In the full report, the NFL notes that Tom Brady said he destroys all of his cell phones as a matter of personal privacy. However, Brady had allegedly exchanged dozens of text messages with the two equipment managers that tampered with the footballs.
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