As Tom Brady nears retirement, memorabilia from the highlights of his legendary career begins to climb in value. But a fan is suing the New England Patriots over a piece of memorabilia he once lent them.
According to TMZ, a fan is suing the Patriots — specifically the Patriots Hall of Fame — for allegedly vandalizing a special American flag he let them go on display.
The fan, Daniel Vitale, owns an American flag, which Brady signed in 2001—the year he took over as a starter before winning the Super Bowl. That flag was flown during a Patriots-Dolphins game at Foxborough Stadium that year and was later signed by Brady.
Vitale believes it is the only flag that has been signed by the seven-time Super Bowl champion. Last year he presented the flag to the Patriots Hall of Fame, who displayed it along with other pieces of memorabilia from the 2001 season.
But when he took it back, Vitale discovered that Brady’s autograph had partially faded—which he believes would significantly reduce its value if they put it up for auction. Vitale claims the lost value comes to upwards of $1 million.
Judging by the photos in the TMZ report, there is definitely a difference between how it was sent to the team versus how Daniel Vitale received it back.
As of writing, the Patriots have not responded to the lawsuit.