Foxborough (United States) (AFP) - About 150 New England Patriots fans staged a protest rally Sunday in the team's stadium parking lot against the four-game National Football League ban given to star quarterback Tom Brady.
Supporters chanted slogans and waved banners at the "Free Tom Brady" rally at Gillette Stadium, objecting to the suspension issued by the league in the wake of the "Deflategate" report that said Brady probably knew about the tinkering with game footballs before contests.
Pablo Munoz, a 22-year-old janitor, organized the event on Facebook, calling it a "peaceful rally to protest the unjust football arrest of half-God, half-man Tom Brady."
Many of those who attended wore Brady jerseys in tribute to the Patriots star, the multi-millionaire husband of supermodel Gisele Bundchen.
"Money can't buy legacy and that's what's being tainted right now," Munoz told the Boston Herald.
"If he goes in the Hall of Fame with an asterisk next to his name that's going to be more than defamation.
"That's to be just terrible. That's really what this is about. It's to show him there's still a nation, a sea of people who believe that he's the champion that he is."
Brady was banned for the first four games of next season after an investigation said it was more likely than not that Brady was at least aware of team employees who let some air out of Patriots' footballs ahead of January's American Conference final against Indianapolis.
The Patriots won the game and went on to win the Super Bowl, giving Brady his fourth NFL title.
Brady has appealed the suspension and the NFL players union has asked that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell not be the one to hear the appeal.