That thump you hear is the NFL sacking Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for deflating footballs during the AFC Championship game.
Brady has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the 2016 NFL regular season for violating the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. The Pats will forfeit a 2016 first rounder and 2017 fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft and were fined a $1 million, according to NFL.com.
The league announced the punishment on Monday, a week after an independent investigation by Ted Wells found that Brady was aware of the “inappropriate activities" by Patriot locker room staffers.
Commissioner Roger Goodell and league officials were particularly upset with Brady’s lack of cooperation during the investigation. NFL Executive President Troy Vincent penned a letter to superstar quarterback explaining the reason for the harsh punishment.
"With respect to your particular involvement, the report established that there is substantial and credible evidence to conclude you were at least generally aware of the actions of the Patriots' employees involved in the deflation of the footballs and that it was unlikely that their actions were done without your knowledge," Vincent wrote in the letter. "Moreover, the report documents your failure to cooperate fully and candidly with the investigation, including by refusing to produce any relevant electronic evidence (emails, texts, etc.), despite being offered extraordinary safeguards by the investigators to protect unrelated personal information, and by providing testimony that the report concludes was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence."
Though Brady initially denied any role in the scandal, he skated around the matter in an interview with Jim Gray following the release of the Wells report.
The Pats kick off the 2016 season against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 10.
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