New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft will not Fight Deflategate Punishment
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced that the team will not be appealing the NFL's punishment for deflategate.
Prior to dropping the fight, Kraft voiced his anger and frustration with the NFL for severely punishing the team despite the lack of definitive evidence. Kraft's statements led many to assume that he would fight for the Patriots. However, the owner's stance has shifted.
During Tuesday's news conference, Kraft stating that he wanted to put deflategate behind him and will not choose to appeal the punishment. He did not take any questions during the conference.
"Believing in the strength of the partnership and the 32 teams, we have concentrated power of adjudication in the office of the commissioner," Kraft said. "Although I might disagree with what was decided, I do have respect for the commissioner, and believe he's doing what he perceives is in the best interest of the full 32. In that spirit, I don't want to continue the rhetoric that has gone on for the last four months. I'm going to accept, reluctantly, what he has given to us. And not continue this dialogue and rhetoric. We won't appeal."
Kraft added, "The heart and soul and strength of the NFL is it's a partnership of 32 teams. What has become very clear over those two decades is that at no time should the agenda of one team outweigh the collective good of the full 32."
The punishment included a $1 million fine, a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017.
Kraft's decision does not directly affect Tom Brady's four-game suspension. The investigation concluded that Brady had knowledge of the tampering. Brady has appealed his punishment.
The deflategate scandal stemmed from the AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. During that game, reports surfaced that the Patriots were playing with tampered footballs. An investigation later concluded that the majority of the footballs used only by the Patriots were deflated.