Tom Brady Takes the Field at Preseason Game as He Battles NFL in Court over Deflategate Suspension
Tom Brady took the field for the New England Patriots on Thursday night in a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
“Good to be HOME!” Brady wrote on his Facebook page Thursday. “Helmet is on … I’ll see you tonight Gillette Stadium!!!”
The surprise move came just a day after Brady, 38, faced off against the NFL in federal court. The quarterback is challenging his suspension for his role in the football tampering scandal known as Deflategate.
The NFL suspended Brady for four games earlier this year after it was discovered that Brady had allegedly destroyed his cellphone in an effort “to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”
Brady vehemently denied this, writing in a lengthy Facebook post that he was “very disappointed” in the NFL. “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” Brady wrote.
He took the fight to federal court, filing a lawsuit claiming that the NFL improperly imposed penalties for equipment violations, which would usually call for a nominal fine.
The court battle has been playing out in Manhattan this week, so it was a surprise to see Brady take the field at the team’s Foxborough, Massachusetts, stadium on Thursday evening, particularly given that star quarterbacks rarely play much during preseason games.
But the Patriots have been vocal in their support of Brady, so it’s possible that the move came as a show of confidence in their quarterback.
One person who wasn’t there? Brady’s wife Gisele Bündchen, who’s usually a fixture in Brady’s box at the stadium. However, she did “like” his Facebook post about being excited to be back in Boston and back in uniform.
Brady left right at the end of the game and did not address the media.
He is allowed to participate in training camp and play in preseason games, but if his suspension is upheld in federal court, he’ll sit out the first four regular-season games.
The quarterback’s legal woes made news earlier this week after a sketch of Brady in court went viral.
Sketch artist Jane Rosenberg apologized for the drawing, which over-accentuated the quarterback’s bone structure.
“I apologize to Tom Brady for not making him as good-looking as he is,” Rosenberg said. “It’s hard to capture that in a short amount of time.”