Tom Brady found support from one presidential candidate after losing a federal appeal that ruled in favor of the NFL in the “Deflategate” case on April 25: Donald Trump.
“First of all, let’s start by saying leave Tom Brady alone,” Trump said to open his rally in Rhode Island on Monday afternoon. “Leave him alone. He’s a great guy. It’s enough.”
Brady was originally suspended for four days by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after an investigation about accusations that footballs were below league-mandated minimum pressure levels at the AFC Championship Game in January 2015.
That suspension was removed after an early ruling by federal judge, Richard M. Berman citing “several significant legal deficiencies” in the investigation.
In May 2015, the NFL imposed the suspension on Brady after an independent investigator found it “more probable than not” that the Patriots quarterback was involved in a scheme to take air out of the footballs New England would use.
The presumed advantage of an underinflated football is that it is easier to catch than a regular ball.
In the report by Ted Wells, the independent investigator hired by the NFL, said that Brady, who answered questions over the course of one day, did not turn over personal information such as texts and emails.
According to the report, no one said Brady tampered with the footballs, but he was implicated in texts involving—and interviews with—locker room attendant Jim McNally and equipment assistant John Jastremski.
The most recent ruling reinstates Brady’s original four-game suspension.
This is not the first time that Trump has come out in favor of Brady. In August 2015, Trump made similar comments calling Brady “a very good friend of mine.”
“Tom Brady is an honest guy, he’s a great guy, he’s a great champion and winner,” Trump said.
The Republican frontrunner is campaigning along the Northeast, with five states going to the primaries on April 26: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.
After winning by a decisive margin in the New York primary on April 19, Trump is expected to win by large margins and has been up in the polls by double digits in every state.