SAN FRANCISCO (WWLP) – New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft says that he will not appeal the league’s punishment of the organization, in connection with the “Deflategate” scandal.
Expressing a desire to move on from the scandal, which dominated discussions about the team leading into Super Bowl XLIX, Kraft said that he will “accept, reluctantly” the judgment of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell of a $1 million fine, and the loss of a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round pick in 2017.
Kraft expressed frustration with the fact that the scandal has continued making headlines four months after the AFC championship game, in which game balls used by the Patriots were inflated below the required level of pounds per square inch. He said that he wants to tone-down the rhetoric, which has been ongoing between Patriots fans and those questioning the team’s actions.
“I know that a lot of Patriot fans are going to be disappointed in that decision. But I hope they trust my judgment and know that I really feel at this point in time, that taking this off the agenda, this is the best thing for the New England Patriots, our fans, and the NFL. And I hope you all can respect that,” Kraft said.
He said that he may disagree with what was decided, but he respects Goodell, and trusts that the commissioner feels he is doing what is best for the entire NFL.
Earlier, Kraft had spoken out against the NFL’s planned four-game suspension of Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady due to his purported role in the “Deflategate” scandal. That decision is still being appealed.