A preliminary investigation of the ongoing Deflategate scandal revealed on Wednesday, May 6, that Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady was "at least generally aware" that New England Patriots personnel intentionally — and illegally — deflated footballs which helped the team nab the AFC Championship this past January.
A report commissioned by the NFL found two Pats staffers — locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski — at probable fault for intentionally deflating game balls ahead of the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The Midwestern team lost 7 to 45, which secured the Patriots to blaze on ahead to the 2015 Super Bowl, which they ultimately won against the Seattle Seahawks in February.
According to the report, there was no evidence that Gisele Bundchen's quarterback husband directly tampered with the balls. The investigator found, however, "that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski."
The report also includes texts between McNally and Jastremski attempting to cater to Brady's football preferences. In one text this past October, McNally wrote: "Tom sucks … im going make that next ball a (expletive) balloon."
League Commissioner Roger Goodell — who tasked reputable lawyer Ted Wells to prepare the 240-plus page report — said the NFL plans to "consider what steps to take" given the findings. This includes potential disciplinary action.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft maintained on Wednesday that his team members were not at fault. "To say we are disappointed in its findings, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement," Kraft said in a statement released to NBC News.
Brady, meanwhile, said this past January that he was unaware of any wrongdoing when it came to Deflategate. "I have no knowledge of anything. I’m very comfortable with saying no one knew. I don’t know what happened during the course of the process with the football. I was preparing for my game," he told reporters during a press conference. "I didn’t alter the ball in any way. I don’t believe I’m a cheater."
The latest news comes days after Brady's supermodel wife retired from the catwalk at Sao Paolo Fashion Week.
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