Instant Reaction On Goodell, NFL Upholding Brady Suspension


The National Football League announced Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady as a result of the “Deflategate” investigation.

To put it simply, Tom Brady put Roger Goodell in a corner with his inference that he did nothing wrong and his refusal to take any part of the blame for the ordered deflation of footballs.  On top of that, Brady not only refused to turn over his phone, but had it destroyed.

“He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone,” the league said in a statement. “During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady.

“Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support?, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL’s Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”

If Roger Goodell reduced the suspension in any capacity, he would have come across looking very weak.

Patriots fans shouldn’t be upset with the NFL Commissioner.  They should be upset with their tunnel-visioned quarterback who refused to admit to anything, despite the damning text messages to the Patriots ball-boys.

If Brady would have admitted to just a little of the blame, “I like to have my footballs on the less deflated side,” for example, he would have received a small fine and the whole controversy would have gone away.

Instead, the ultra-competitive Brady followed suit in the Patriots culture of being “above the law.”

Now Tom Brady will have to appeal in a federal court where he hopes that an injunction will be granted so he can play until his case is heard.

Although there is no precedent for a suspension due to an equipment violation, the NFLPA gave Roger Goodell the right to these suspensions in their last Collective Bargaining Agreement.  Most courts tend to side in favor of league’s who already have CBA’s in place.

The NFL was put in an embarrassing position by Tom Brady, and he deserves every bit of his unprecedented four-game suspension.

About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.