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Silent Protest? Tom Brady's Helmet Missing NFL Shield Decal During Preseason

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Tom Brady is about to serve a four-game suspension based on flimsy evidence and no precedent.

The man is understandably not happy.

Yet as the whole country argues and debates Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the national anthem, another protest may have just played out with Tom Brady ... and nobody seemed to notice.

Credit goes to Twitter user @Pennzoil90 for this one, as he sent this tweet to the Sports Hub account on Friday.

At this point it's time to cue the thinking man emoji.

OK, so there's no NFL shield decal on Brady's helmet. Maybe it's doctored. This is Twitter, after all. Can't trust anything. So let's go to a reliable source: Getty Images.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady vs. the Giants on Sept. 1, 2016. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

And here's the other side of his helmet:

Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

All right, all right. Certainly no decal there. So let's go back a week to Carolina.

Tom Brady in Carolina
Tom Brady in Carolina on Aug. 26, 2016 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Tom Brady
Tom Brady in Carolina on Aug. 26, 2016 (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Great googily moogily! This man is protesting!

"OK," you may be saying, "but how do we know other players aren't lacking the NFL shield decal? Why are you singling out Thomas?"

Great question.

Let's go to the tape!

Everybody's got it on the lower left side of their helmet.

Malcolm Butler had the shield:

Malcolm Butler
Malcolm Butler (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

D.J. Foster had the shield:

D.J. Foster
D.J. Foster (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Josh Kline and the Giants' Kerry Wynn are rocking the league logo here (click the photo for full size):

Patriots vs. Giants
Patriots vs. Giants (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

And just so you know it's not a QB thing, here's Jacoby Brissett:

Jacoby Brissett
Jacoby Brissett vs. Carolina (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The NFL shield is on display on Trey Flowers' helmet last week in Carolina:

Trey Flowers
Trey Flowers (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

You can see the shield was on multiple Patriots helmets in Carolina:

Patriots huddle
The Patriots huddle (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

And here's a good look at Brady's shield-free helmet last week in Carolina:

Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

Lastly, if you think this is something Brady's been doing for a while, I'd direct you to this photo of Brady from the AFC Championship Game in Denver:

Tom Brady
Tom Brady in Denver on January 24, 2016 (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

And here's a clear one from the Patriots' November matchup with the Bills:

Tom Brady
Tom Brady (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

How about that, folks? The man who's lived and breathed football his whole life has been driven from support of the grandest league in the land.

Way to go, Roger.

(Brady can probably expect a fine in the mail any day now. If the league hates anything more than it hates footballs that it believes to be deflated, it would be uniform violations. But Roger might want to let this one slide. He's done enough damage.)

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

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