The report into the New England Patriots Deflategate scandal has concluded that “it is more probable than not” that Tom Brady knew the balls his team was using were under-inflated.
Investigator Tom Wells said in the report that two Patriots officials, Jim McNally and John Jastremski, “participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls.” The report also stated that quarterback Tom Brady likely knew of the plan.
“Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls,” the report reads.
The controversy began after the 2014 AFC Championship game in which the Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts. Reports indicated that the NFL was investigating the Patriots for using balls that were not fully inflated during the game.
Patriots quarterback Brady was vehement during a press conference when the controversy began that, following initial inspection before an NFL game, he doesn’t “want anyone touching those balls after that. I don’t want anyone rubbing them,” he said. “To me, those balls are perfect.”
The scandal was a great source of comic fodder. “Saturday Night Live” released a sketch shortly after the news broke. The skit featured Patriots head coach Bill Belichick (played by Beck Bennett) denying any knowledge of under-inflated footballs at the AFC championship game, before throwing the team’s quarterback Tom Brady under the bus.
“I love him like a son, just more of an estranged son that I wouldn’t trust around footballs,” fake Belichick said. Brady (portrayed by Taran Killam) appeared perplexed in the skit, saying the issue was “above his pay grade.”
“Look, all I know is that a football is a pigskin, so I just assumed that the air in the football is how much air was inside the pig when it died,” he said.