It’s hard to move on from deflategate when you still have to listen to nonsense coming from the NFL commissioner, and Roger Goodell once again spouted nonsense as he faced the media on Wednesday.
The commissioner was asked if he believed he got bad advice from people around him in terms of his handling of Tom Brady during that sham of an investigation, with the not-so-independent Wells report claiming he was “generally aware” of a “scheme” to deflate footballs. The in-depth investigation initiated by the league sparked plenty of independent tests outside the league, yielding results that instilled plenty of doubt in the accusations against Brady, especially when the NFL opted not to release their own measurements the following season.
Goodell obviously won in court, but whether or not anything even happened that night three years ago against the Colts is still up for debate. But the commissioner still believes deep in his heart that Brady is indeed guilty, and revealed that Wednesday afternoon.
“No, we had a violation,” said Goodell when asked if he got bad advice about how he handled deflategate. “We went through a process. We applied the discipline in accordance with our process. It was litigated as you know, extensively, and validated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. So, we’re moving on from that. That’s part of our history, but it’s something that we’re comfortable with the process, the decision, and as I said, we’re focusing on the game now.”
Goodell hasn’t stepped foot in Foxboro since things escalated, which has seen him avoid Gillette Stadium for the past two years. However, he claims that the situation is not awkward, and reiterated that he believes Brady cheated and that he’s comfortable with his decision.
“I would tell you that it is not awkward at all for me,” said Goodell. “We have a job to do. We do our job, as I said, there was a violation. We applied a process and discipline, and we came to a conclusion that was supported by the facts and by the courts. So from our standpoint, we understand when fans who are loyal and passionate for a team object and don’t like the outcome, I totally understand that.”
“That’s not an issue for me,” he continued. “I was in Boston two seasons ago for two consecutive playoff games, the same way I was in Atlanta this year. So that happens. From our standpoint, this is just about making sure that we take care of business and do it the way that is right to uphold the integrity of our teams and our rules for all 32 teams. If I am invited back to Foxboro, I will come.”
Goodell said that for him to come back to Gillette, that will ultimately be up to Robert Kraft.
“I have no doubt that if I wanted to come up to a Patriots game, and I asked Mr. Kraft, he would welcome me back,” said Goodell. “That’s up to him, though.”
He went on to say that he and Kraft disagree about what happened, but that he has a “deep and close” relationship with them.
“Listen, we have a disagreement about what occurred,” said Goodell. “We have been very transparent about what we think the violation was (and) it went through a very lengthy process. We disagree about that. But, I continue to respect and admire Robert (Kraft), Jonathan (Kraft), and the entire organization. They are an extraordinary organization, and they’re extraordinary people. I have a very deep and close relationship to them, but that doesn’t change that we have to compartmentalize things that we disagree on.”
“I’ll be honest with you; I have disagreements with probably all 32 of our teams. I’m not afraid of disagreement, and I don’t think that disagreement leads to distrust, or hatred, it’s just a disagreement. You take your disagreements, you find a common place and you move forward. That’s what it is. It’s not all personal nature – which I know people like to make it. But for us, it’s about making sure we do what’s right for the league long-term.”
His comments are certainly illuminating, especially given that he made it a point to make them during the week leading up to the game instead of taking the high road considering Brady is playing in Sunday’s game.
Thanks to those statements, should New England take care of business, what happens after the game should the two meet on the podium just became a little more interesting.
Posted Under: Patriots Commentary