Defenders of the Wall was born in early February 2016, when Patriots fan and Stoughton, Massachusetts resident Jimmy Derochea began thinking of ways that the New England Patriots could possibly recover the draft picks lost through the NFL’s unfounded punishment of the Patriots in the Deflategate debacle. Through investigating consumer law, he discovered a viable avenue and filed a consumer complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. Shortly thereafter he started a petition supporting this action on change.org
Around the same time, Nate Kyng had started a Facebook group, in hopes of attracting a membership that would support the Patriots with action and not only words. The two men collided on social media, put their heads together and a movement to Defend The Wall was born! There was just one problem, though. The new group had no members, but this was about to quickly change. In the fan group PatsFan4Life, the two men met up with another like-minded individual, Dave Jacqueson, who silently began recruiting members for the new movement. As of early May 2016, membership stands at over 1,700 people.
A short time later Nate met another action-oriented person, Sheilla Dingus, introduced her to Jimmy and Dave, and she was brought into the inner circle, where she began to work alongside the others to force change. A number of actions were quickly implemented, including letters to all thirty-two NFL owners, as well as a letter to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the Brady case, and a letter to the NFLPA, along with a follow-up letter urging them to fight for change.
In early April 2016, Boston local and Patriots Empire administrator Charissa Connolly became a member of the Defenders of the Wall administrative team. Her social media networking skills along with her engagement with Boston locals has proved invaluable to our organization.