The NFL's surprisingly harsh crackdown on Tom Brady in the Deflategate scandal seems to have given sales of the Patriots' quarterback jersey a shot in the arm.
Some football fans and players think that the NFL’s handing out a four-game suspension to Tom Brady over Deflategate was fully warranted. Many others, however, have reacted to the judgment with a sense of shock and unfairness (the evidence against Brady is thin), even outrage. Still others think the decision demonstrates how warped the NFL is, in light of how softly and haphazardly the league has cracked down on players accused of abusing women.
When the Wells report was first released and Tom Brady was essentially portrayed as villain who must have at least been “generally aware” of improprieties involving the deflating of footballs for a playoff game, the consensus was that Brady’s “legacy” would be a little tainted. He’d likely be suspended, or at least face a fine. Some predicted that Brady jersey sales would plummet too.
One day after the NFL suspended Brady, however, it looks like the effect on Brady merchandise sales is just the opposite. The sports apparel specialist Fanatics.com is reporting that since Monday, when the suspension was announced, Brady gear sales are up 100%.
As of Tuesday, the site’s top-selling NFL jerseys belong to Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston, the #2 and #1 pick, respectively, in the most recent NFL draft. Holding the site’s #3 spot is 37-year-old, four-time Super Bowl champion New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Prior to the suspension, Brady had the sixth-most gear sales on the site.
Apparently, it isn’t simply fans in New England who are scooping up Brady gear after the suspension. Fanatics.com says that fans in 22 states have purchased Brady merchandise over the past day, with Massachusetts, Florida, California, Washington, and Michigan recording the most sales.
It’s also worth noting that while the NFL may not seem to be happy with Brady of late, the official NFL Shop doesn’t seem to have a problem with him; the shop currently lists 127 Brady-related items for sale.