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NFL reportedly fires employee for selling Deflategate footballs

Tom Brady threw a pass during the first half of the AFC championship game.Charles Krupa/Associated Press

The NFL has fired one of its employees for selling some of the footballs that were used in the controversial Patriots-Colts AFC Championship game, according to a report by Adam Schefter of ESPN.

The game, won by the Patriots, 45-7, was the source of the Deflategate controversy — the alleged use of underinflated footballs by the Patriots — which the league is currently investigating.

According to the ESPN report, the footballs were supposed to be donated to charity after the game, but one league employee kept some and sold them.

Profootballtalk.com quoted Schefter as saying, “There are a few different league officials, according to people I spoke with today, at the game, who handled the footballs, league employees — League Employee 1, League Employee 2 and League Employee 3, we’ll call them, for lack of a better phrase — whose jobs are to handle the balls on game day.


“And League Official 1, he’s also supposed to take the balls out of play and then send them off to a charitable endeavor to raise money for a charitable endeavor that the league is embarking upon.

“Only on this day, and since that day, the league has since fired that employee for allegedly selling off some of those footballs on the side. So that employee — League Official 1 — has been fired since the AFC Championship game.”

In addition to the controversy over underinflated footballs being used, there was a report Tuesday night, also by ESPN, that a Patriots employee attempted to get a non-approved “kicking” football — one to be used solely for placekicking and punting — into the game.