New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Wednesday said he was "very disappointed" that the NFL upheld his four-game suspension in the "Deflategate" scandal and denied that he destroyed his cellphone to avoid giving it to investigators.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Tuesday upheld the four-game suspension the league handed to Brady for what it said was his role in a scheme to deflate the footballs in January's AFC championship game that put the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
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"I am very disappointed by the NFL's decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me," Brady said in a statement. "I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either."
During his 10-hour appeal last month at NFL headquarters in New York, Goodell said Brady, one of the league's most high-profile players, admitted he directed an assistant to destroy the cell phone on March 6, the same day he was due to meet with league investigators.
But Brady, in his statement on Facebook on Wednesday, said as a member of the NFL players union he was not going to hand his cellphone over anyway and that he was never told that failing to do so would result in any discipline.
"I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances," Brady wrote.
The Patriots routed the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in the AFC title game, a game played in raw conditions where the ball might have been difficult for a quarterback to grip. New England advanced to the Super Bowl where they defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. (Additional reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Susan Heavey)