FOXBORO, MASS. (WHDH) - The NFL has suspended Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and fined him $1.5 million for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton following a six-month investigation stemming from Brian Flores’ racial discrimination lawsuit against the league.
The league’s investigation found the Dolphins did not intentionally lose games during the 2019 season but the team had impermissible communication with Brady and his agent, Don Yee. The league announced the findings of the investigation on Tuesday.
The Dolphins will forfeit a first-round selection in the 2023 NFL draft and a third-round selection in the 2024 draft. Ross is suspended through Oct. 17. He may not be present at the team’s facility and may not represent the club at any team or NFL event. He also may not attend any league meeting before the annual meeting in 2023, and he is removed from all league committees indefinitely.
Ross said he accepts the outcome of the investigation, but denies it.
“As I have said all along, these allegations were false, malicious and defamatory and this issue is now put to rest,” Ross said in a statement. “With regards to tampering, I strongly disagree with the conclusions and the punishment.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement, “The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity. I know of no prior instance of a team violating the prohibition on tampering with both a head coach and star player … Similarly, I know of no prior instance in which ownership was so directly involved in the violations.”
Patriots fans said they still respect Brady despite scandals involving him.
“The guy’s a good athlete,” one fan told 7NEWS, “so I think that hopefully, his legacy of all his wins and his hard work is going to live on.”
Dolphins vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal was fined $500,000 and may not attend any league meeting for the remainder of the year.
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