Click image, below
(filed with MA Attorney General’s Office)
THE STORY BEHIND THE COMPLAINT
On February 5, 2016, I filed a Consumer Complaint against the NFL with the MA Attorney General’s Office after concluding that it was the best way to show my support of Robert Kraft, the Patriots and Tom Brady. After Kraft came out and said that acquiescing to the team penalties was a mistake, inferring he was misled and lost trust in the NFL and the process. I felt that he was between a rock & hard place due to Article 3.11 of the NFL Constitution that forbids Owners from taking such action vs the NFL and that he was it was also unlikely he would fight back & risk being ostracized by other owners while losing relationships 7 leverage that he’d built over the last 20 years.
After tossing a few other options at Sports Attorney and Sports Illustrated Writer, Michael McCann that he shot down as not viable, I stumbled on the consumer angle. When McCann didn’t shoot the idea down like the others, admitting that it was a “long shot” and “highly unlikely” that I could beat the NFL, but noting that MA had “very strong Consumer Laws,” I took action. I filed the Consumer Complaint, noting that by taking away 2 of the Patriots Draft picks and suspending Tom Brady, the NFL created “an unfair method of competition” among other related consumer points.
Two days after I filed the petition, I followed up by creating an Online Petition through Change.org, that allows the aggregation & emailing of supportive “signatures” directly to, in this case, Maura Healey the MA Attorney General. The petition ultimately garnered 7,400 “signatures” before the final decision by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Brady’s suspension.
Acknowledgment Phone call on behalf of the Robert Kraft
On 2/22/2016, I received a phone call from a very personal friend of Robert Kraft to acknowledge that Kraft was aware of the action that I had taken (Consumer Complaint). Robert Kraft’s friend noted that Mr. Kraft asked him “to send along his personal thanks and that he is very, very (yes, he used 2 very’s) appreciative of what I am doing and why I am doing it” (on his behalf). I reiterated that I was inspired to take that action on behalf of Mr. Kraft because “I felt his hands were tied” and it was “the least I could do as a fan, after all that he’d done for Patriots Nation over the last 15+ years!”
Michael McCann Tweet mentions Complaint re: Peter King changing his stance:
Michael McCann mentioned my Consumer Complaint in a tweet about one of the top media guys (Peter King) that we had targeted with dozens of messages, disputing Goodell’s findings and calling for “Restoration of the Patriots Draft Picks! [Coincidentally, this fell on same day as the above call on behalf of Robert Kraft]
i. TWEET: “With @SI_PeterKing calling for NFL to restore Patriots draft picks, reminder of @jimderochea’s petition to @MassAGO:”
Other @McCannSportsLaw Tweet mentions:
i. “Patriots fan @jimderochea files consumer complaint against the NFL with the @MassAGO over Patriots lost draft picks“
ii. “Patriots fan @jimderochea, who’s filed a consumer complaint with @MassAGO over Deflategate, has launched a petition“
iii. Could the NFL taking away Patriots draft picks violate consumer law? @jimderochea explains his @MassAGO complaint
MEDIA REFERENCES TO THE COMPLAINT
v. 2016-02-21 – Circa Sports – Patriot Fan Starts Petition to Restore First Round Draft Pick (defunct)
viii. 2016-03-01 – Sports Illustrated – Deflategate is back in court: Preview of NFL’s appeal hearing