Watch CBS News

93-Year-Old WWII Vet Supports Tom Brady, Chastises Second Circuit Judges For Prolonging DeflateGate

BOSTON (CBS) -- Once you've lost a 93-year-old veteran of World War II, you've lost America.

And so, Roger Goodell and the judges of U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit have lost America.

This news comes from a letter typed up by Warren B. Lessing, who voiced his very strong opinion about Tom Brady and the absurdity of DeflateGate, which is currently in its 17th month of existence with no end in sight.

Lessing wrote his letter to the Second Circuit judges. Here it is, in its entirety.

Warren Lessing's Letter
Warren Lessing's letter to the judges of the Second Circuit in New York City. (WBZ)


I am a 93 year old WW II veteran and I have always found it prudent to invoke my disclaimer, in matters such as t his, to voice my personal opinion as guaranteed by the U.S. Supreme Court under Freedom of Speech.

While I did not expect a reply, I wrote to Roger Goodell regarding the above, as I am sure thousands of football fans did the same, stating that I thought it was a stupid, asinine ruling. In the meantime you overrule the judge who rightfully, and sensibly, tried to put an end to it, so I am telling you the same thing.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't this still the United States where a person is innocent until proven guilty? Tom Brady was never proven guilty. Don't you have anything more important to do?

Very truly yours,

Warren B. Lessing

Clearly, Lessing has followed the case closely enough to have formed the opinion that Judge Richard Berman acted properly in overturning the four-game suspension issued to Tom Brady, a suspension issued by Goodell based on shaky evidence and a suspension which was upheld by Goodell himself. Yet the circus was prolonged when Barrington Parker and Denny Chin, both judges for the Second Circuit, ruled last month to reinstate the suspension, thereby kicking off yet another round of appeals that could push the case well into 2017. (Robert Katzmann, chief judge of the Second Circuit, dissented with his fellow judges' opinion, instead ruling that Berman ruled correctly.)

A request for an en banc rehearing from Brady's lawyers is expected to be filed either Friday or Monday.

Lessing was contacted by WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens and said he was "quite surprised" to learn that his letter had been added to the docket of the case. Lessing said he's from New Jersey and is a fan of the New York Giants, but he has a great deal of respect for the Patriots. But his letter had more to do with principle than it did with getting Brady back on the football field.

"It just goes back to the fact that you're innocent until proven guilty in this country, and that lately it doesn't seem to be such a prerogative for everybody. They seem to forget that," Lessing told Stevens. "It goes back to the fact that I think there are much more important things in this country to do right now than be picking on some football player [against whom] they couldn't prove anything anyway."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Mary Blake reports

Lessing also felt the scope of the entire situation seemed suspicious, as far as how the NFL was operating.

"I don't know why it never came up before with anybody else, with all of the teams, 32 teams in the country, and something like this never came up before," Lessing told Stevens. "It seemed like they were just targeting them. I really don't know, but that's what it seems like."

"DeflateGate," as it's come to be known, has inspired hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of words to be written around the country and around the world.  Yet Lessing managed to summarize the entire situation quite succinctly.

"I think it's just a ridiculous waste of everybody's time," he said. "I think there would be thousands and thousands of football fans and the general public who feel the same way I do."

The man speaks the truth.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.