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NFL didn't push Patriots not to fight 'Deflategate' penalty

20 May 2015, 21:33

Boston - New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's decision not to appeal the team's "Deflategate" penalty was made without pressure from the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Wednesday.

"The decision that Robert made was his decision," Goodell told a news conference at the NFL owners' meeting in San Francisco.

Also read: NFL suspends Brady 4 games for deflated footballs

Kraft said on Tuesday he would reluctantly accept rather than appeal a $1 million fine and loss of draft choices imposed by the NFL against the Super Bowl champions for the team's role in the "Deflategate" scandal.

"I admire and respect Robert, as you know," Goodell said. "We've had plenty of discussions over the last couple of weeks. And this was his initiative and something he wanted to do. I certainly admire the step he took."

The NFL punished the Patriots, one of the league's most successful franchises, for purposely deflating footballs used in the team's 45-7 playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts that put New England in the Super Bowl. Deflating a football could give the quarterback a competitive edge by allowing him to better grip the ball.

Star quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for four games next season after an investigator hired by the NFL concluded Brady was aware of the plan to deflate the footballs. Brady has appealed the suspension.

- Reuters


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