Standing by their team no matter what, Patriot fans near and far have hit crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to help raise $1 million towards the “deflategate” fine that the NFL team was slapped with on Monday.
According to an NFL commissioned report, the team’s quarterback, Tom Brady, was “generally aware” that some of the footballs were illegally deflated during the AFC Championship this past January.
While the investigation reportedly found that the Patriots made no “deliberate attempt” to play with the balls during the game, it did conclude that some of the team’s personel made an “deliberate effort” to modify some of the balls, which were not inflated to NFL specification, which is known as “deflategate.”
Owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, stated:
“Throughout the process of this nearly four-month investigation, we have cooperated and patiently awaited its outcome. To say we are disappointed in its finding, which do not include any incontrovertible or hard evidence of deliberate deflation of footballs at the AFC Championship game, would be a gross understatement.”
Due to the NFL’s discovery, Brady has been suspended for four games without pay due to his participation in the incident and the Patriots received the $1 million fine and will forfeit its first-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft and fourth-round pick in the 2017 draft.
CNBC reported that the announcement on Monday created a storm on social media, with #DeflateGate trending on Twitter. Some fans tweeted that the punishment was “ridiculous” and “too harsh,” while others agreed with NBC sportscaster, Bob Costas, and added that a stiffer penalty was warranted.
Patriots fan, Michael J. Whitman, decided he would step up to help his team by taking to the crowdfunding platform with a mission to raise the funds. He wrote:
“We obviously know we won’t reach One Million Dollars, however we do believe the fine is bulls**t and want to help anyway we can. So whatever is donated will be donated to the New England Patriots in help with the fine!
“As we venture with this, we will do frequent updates to show progression of this! If enough is made to make the travel, we will fly down there (on our own expenses) and deliver a check in person!”
Since its launch, the campaign has raised nearly $5,500 from 370 backers.
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