New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady released a statement Friday night on his Facebook page following Thursday’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman nullifying the 10-time Pro Bowler’s four-game suspension for using deflated footballs in January’s AFC championship game.
In his first public comments on the matter, Brady reiterated his love for the league, adding: “I am sorry our league had to endure this. I don’t think it has been good for our sport – to a large degree, we have all lost.”
The regular season starts tomorrow morning and I can’t wait to fully commit my energy and emotion to focus on the challenges of the 2015 NFL season. I want to thank my family, my friends, all of the fans, past and current players and my teammates for the support they have given me throughout this challenging experience. I also want to thank Judge Berman and his staff for their efforts to resolve this matter over the past five weeks. I am very grateful. My thanks also to the union’s legal team who has fought so hard right along with me. While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this. I don’t think it has been good for our sport – to a large degree, we have all lost. I am also sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt as I have tried to work to resolve this situation. I love the NFL. It is a privilege to be a member of the NFL community and I will always try to do my best in representing my team and the league in a way that would make all members of this community proud. I look forward to the competition on the playing field and I hope the attention of NFL fans can return to where it belongs – on the many great players and coaches who work so hard every week, and sacrifice so much, to make this game great. Most importantly, I look forward to representing the New England Patriots on Thursday night in our season opener. I hope to make all of our fans proud this year … and beyond!
Following Berman’s decision, the NFL announced it will appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday through a written statement released by the league. “We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.”
Brady is allowed to play during the appeal.