Patriots fans want to help pay NFL's 'Deflategate' fine

Wed May 13, 2015 10:48am EDT
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By Steve Ginsburg

(Reuters) - The loyal fans of the New England Patriots, angered by the suspension of Tom Brady and $1 million fine levied against the team for the "Deflategate" scandal, have opened a fund-raising drive to help the team pay the bill.

A Patriots fan looking to raise money to pay the fine created a GoFundMe web page titled "Paying the bill of the PATRIOTS," and as of Wednesday morning fans had donated $13,538.

While the $1 million fine is large by National Football League standards, it wouldn't dent the bottom line of a team valued by Forbes at $2.6 billion in 2014.

"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," the page creator wrote on the website.

"So whatever is donated will be donated to the New England Patriots in help with the fine!"

Brady was suspended for four games, and the team was fined a record $1 million and forced to surrender two draft picks for purposely deflating the footballs in the AFC title game last January, the NFL said on Monday after releasing a 243-page report on its investigation.

Deflating the balls would possibly have given Brady a better grip on the ball in the chilly conditions at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, south of Boston.

After receiving "both positive and negative feedback," the website creator said on Wednesday if the Patriots do not accept the money "we plan to donate the money to some great causes!"   Continued...

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady speaks at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts, May 7, 2015.  REUTERS/Charles Krupa/Pool