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Post-Deflategate, Under Armour protects Tom Brady

Both Tom Brady and his wife, Gisele Bundchen, have Under Armour deals.Chris Morris for The Boston Globe

Tom Brady stands to lose $1.9 million in salary from a four-game Deflategate suspension, but he doesn’t appear to be in danger of losing any endorsement income from Under Armour, his apparel sponsor since 2010.

Calling the Patriots quarterback “one of my favorite people on earth” and “as honest as the day is long,” Under Armour chief executive Kevin Plank gave Brady his strong backing Wednesday during an appearance at the Boston College Chief Executives Club.

“Tom Brady is one of the best people I’ve ever met and has the highest integrity,” Plank told an audience of business executives that included Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, Red Sox vice president Sam Kennedy, TD Garden president Amy Latimer, and Harvard basketball coach Tommy Amaker. “I think there’s several more chapters to play out, so let’s let it play out and we’ll go from there. Tom has our undying support.”

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The next chapter for Brady is an appeal hearing with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell June 23, at which he will argue for the suspension to be reduced or rescinded.

Even if Plank were to change his mind, Brady could still earn money from Under Armour. Both he and supermodel wife Gisele Bundchen, signed by the company last year, reportedly got Under Armour stock as part of their deals. — CALLUM BORCHERS

Pricey PR guy aids the group No Boston Olympics, for free

Boston 2024 is on track to spend more than $1.6 million this year on marketing and communications, employing some of the biggest names around, from Micho Spring to Doug Rubin.

No Boston Olympics has its own high-priced public relations consultant, Ray Howell. There’s just one big difference: He’s working for free.

Howell, the former press secretary for Governor Bill Weld, approached the grassroots, anti-Olympics group in late March. Howell liked their message — a smart, data-driven argument against Boston hosting the 2024 Summer Games.

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“When I met the leaders of this group, I found them to be very refreshing,” said Howell, who started his own shop, Howell Communications, two decades ago. “They are doing this for all the right reasons.”

No Boston Olympics, formed 18 months ago, is run by three thirtysomething leaders:

Chris Dempsey, a former consultant at Bain & Co. and onetime assistant state secretary of transportation; Kelley Gossett, a former policy director at nonprofits One Family and Horizons for Homeless Children; and Liam Kerr, the Massachusetts director of Democrats for Education Reform.

Dempsey and Gossett quit their day jobs earlier this year to fight Boston’s bid, and like Howell they are working for free. While Boston 2024 has a paid staff and raised about $2.8 million in the first quarter alone, No Boston Olympics has been operating on a shoestring budget of less than $7,500 since its inception.

Howell likes underdogs. He was one of Weld’s earliest gubernatorial supporters, back when he was a long shot even within his own Republican Party.

“Whatever you think about the Olympics, whichever side you are on, you should be rooting for this group,” Howell said. “They are keeping Boston 2024 honest.” — SHIRLEY LEUNG

A community play highlights Cambridge’s class disparities

Sometimes, the best way to illustrate a difficult situation is through art.

The Community Art Center in the Area Four neighborhood of Cambridge has taken note of the growing disparity around it — public housing developments butt up against the booming biotech hub of Kendall Square. So the center, which offers arts and technology for kids, decided to write a play about it.

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The result is “The Way: An Urban Allegory,” being staged Thursday and Friday at the YMCA in Central Square.

The play revolves around a black boy named Young who lives in a rapidly gentrifying low-income area and is invited to join an innovation lab.

It’s a great opportunity — but one that causes him to lose touch with his cultural identity.

The play doesn’t name Area Four or Kendall Square, but they are clearly referenced, in scenes with people dressed in lab coats and painted backdrops that look like local landmarks.

“We framed the piece as an allegory to give people a way to talk about what’s happening around the country but not be in a situation where we were pointing fingers,” executive director Eryn Johnson said.

Invitations went to politicians, law enforcement officials, and organizations that have partnered with the center, including Novartis, Alexandria Real Estate Equities, VMware, and LabCentral. But the outreach didn’t extend to other Kendall Square companies, Johnson said: “I just don’t know that they’re ready.” — KATIE JOHNSTON

Marblehead lawmaker powers an LNG bill

Representative Lori Ehrlich couldn’t have timed this better if she tried.

After years of false starts, the developer Footprint Power finally held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $1 billion, natural gas-fired plant last week. Ehrlich was busy that same day at the State House, testifying for a bill she filed in part because of her belief that the Salem power plant could eventually be used to export liquefied natural gas.

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The Marblehead Democrat’s bill would ban ratepayers from being forced to carry the costs, through a tariff or tax, of pipeline construction that would ship gas to an LNG export facility. She says she’s afraid the natural gas industry wants to use New England as a conduit to bring cheap gas from Pennsylvania to the shore, to be shipped in liquid form around the world.

Footprint president Scott Silverstein said Ehrlich should have nothing to worry about: The New Jersey compoany is focused on building the plant and identifying development opportunities for the site’s remaining 40-plus acres.

He said Footprint has no plans to export gas.

Because of her safety concerns, Ehrlich said she would like more of an assurance that an LNG export facility won’t be built at any point in the future at the site, which sits across Salem Harbor from her hometown.

Plenty of local dignitaries came to Footprint’s big event, which drew roughly 200 people, despite the rainy weather that day.

Ehrlich, unsurprisingly, was not among those invited. — JON CHESTO


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