Is anyone really surprised Tom Brady still has a four-game suspension after his appeal was upheld? Definitely not me.
The NFL learned on June 18 that Brady destroyed the cell phone that was used to text with Patriots’ equipment managers who were accused of deflating footballs in the AFC Championship game on January.
Commissioner Roger Goodell could not lose face by reducing Brady’s suspension. He was dealing with pressure from NFL owners and fans to hammer the Patriots who have been caught cheating in the past.
i will be the first to admit it looks ridiculous to see Brady with the same suspension as Greg Hardy of the Dallas Cowboys who will miss the first four weeks of the season due to a domestic violence situation. A four game suspension is also what a first time substance abuse offender faces in the NFL.
Brady’s alleged role in requesting footballs to be related below the league-mandated PSI pales in comparison to the aforementioned violations that accrue a four-game suspension. However, the Patriots’ history with Spygate and Brady’s unwillingness to turn over his phone to the league when questioned shortly after the AFC Championship game were too much for Goodell to ignore.
The NFL’s decision to uphold Brady’s suspension shows two things. One, they believe they have done their due diligence investigating Deflategate and will win even when the NFL Player’s Association files an appeal on Brady’s behalf to have the case heard in a Federal Court. Secondly, the NFL is sending a strong message that doing anything to gain a competitive edge that is outside the rules of the game will not be tolerated.
On the other hand, Brady must be pretty confident in his case. Supposedly, the NFL offered to reduce the suspension to a game or two if Brady payed a fine and admitted his role in the deflating of footballs. Brady wanted no part of that and will take his chance in Federal Court to keep his legacy intact.
Whether you agree or disagree with the NFL’s decision, I believe they have created enough fear in teams not to try to circumvent the rules in any way, shape, or form in the future. If the NFL can levy out this punishment to one of the game’s most popular players, imagine what will happen if a player with a track record of getting in trouble does something similar.
And that’s as I see it!
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Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Scott D Mikulski