FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — About 150 New England Patriots fans filled a parking lot at Gillette Stadium Sunday to protest the four-game suspension handed to quarterback Tom Brady over the “Deflategate” scandal.

The “Free Tom Brady” rally was organized on Facebook. Many of the fans who gathered on Sunday wore Brady jerseys with his number 12 on the back and held signs calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to rescind the suspension.

The penalty was imposed on the four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback after investigator Ted Wells found it was more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware that team employees schemed to let air out of Patriots’ footballs prior to the AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts in January.

Goodell plans to hear Brady’s appeal of the suspension.

The rally was organized by a part-time Framingham janitor.

“Money can’t buy legacy, and that’s what’s being tainted right now,” said Pablo Munoz, 22. “If you take that away from him he could live his whole life with money, but at the end of the day if he goes in the Hall of Fame with an asterisk next to his name, that’s going to be more than defamation. That (will be) be just terrible.

“That’s really what this is about,” Munoz said in unflagging support of the 37-year-old quarterback, who is appealing the four-game suspension Goodell sanctioned. “It’s to show him there’s still a nation, a sea of people who believe that he’s the champion that he is. I think it’s going to be great for him. He’s given us so many memories. We just want to give him one.”

Fans of all ages turned out for the 11 a.m. start of the two-hour event in red, white and blue No. 12 jerseys, their cars decorated, their faces painted, their voices strong.

“This is what I was imagining,” Munoz said, looking around at the enthusiastic crowd. “It could be in the thousands or it could stay in the hundreds. I mean, this is good enough for me,” he said to chants of. “Free Brady, Fire Goodell!” and “Kiss the ring!”

Munoz said he was not expecting team owner Robert Kraft or any players from the four-time Super Bowl champions to appear.

“It was his final word that gave us the OK here so, no matter, Bob Kraft is here in spirit,” Munoz said. “He knows this is happening and thank you to him. If he comes out here and says a few words that’d be awesome, but I can complete understand if he won’t.”

Meanwhile, a Massachusetts woman has used her obituary to convey a final message on the “Deflategate” controversy.

Boston.com reports that Patricia M. Shong, of Auburn, Massachusetts, died Monday surrounded by family. Her obituary says the 72-year-old enjoyed scrapbooking, weekly card night and spending time with her family. “She would also like us to set the record straight for her. Brady is innocent!!”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.