The four-time Super Bowl winner was handed the ban in May after independent investigator Ted Wells’ report concluded he was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” regarding his team’s use of deflated game balls in last season’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Brady appealed but Goodell last night announced Brady’s ban had been upheld after further information which came to light during the appeal process had counted against the 37-year-old.
“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the four-game ban imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Brady’s appeal from that discipline was heard for more than 10 hours on June 23,” an NFL statement said. According to the statement, new information which came to light during the appeal process showed Brady had ordered the destruction of his cell phone immediately prior to his meeting with Wells on March 6.
“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,” the statement said. “During the four months 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 statement concluded: “Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded Brady was aware of, and took steps to support, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules.”
Deflated balls are considered easier to grip, throw and catch, particularly in cold conditions. As well as Brady’s ban, the Patriots were fined $1m and docked two draft picks including next year’s first-round pick. Bradywill misses the Patriots’games against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Buffalo Bills, Jacksonville Jaguars and Dallas Cowboys.