07/29/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
Guilty as charged. That's the decision NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has come to in regards to Tom Brady's involvement in "Deflate Gate". After over a month's wait following Brady's appeal, Goodell has decided to uphold the 4 game suspension Brady was given for his role in and knowledge of the use of under inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
I have to admit, I did not expect this to be the outcome. With the NFLPA threatening to take the matter to federal court, I thought the commissioner would back off, at least a bit. I thought it would be reduced to a 2 game suspension at the maximum. Many thought Goodell would just back off and lift the ban, allowing Brady to play in the season opener. But that wasn't the case. Goodell didn't budge. And good for him.
The NFLPA plans to take the NFL to federal court as the next step. The case will be filed in Minnesota where Adrian Peterson's indefinite suspension was overruled last year. The NFLPA had already worked to get Greg Hardy's 10 game suspension for domestic violence reduced to 4 games. As a matter of fact, it seemed as of late that the players union seemed to have more power than the NFL itself. Maybe Roger Goodell was tired of that. Because this time he chose to hold firm to his decision and let the matter go to federal court.
So why did Goodell stick to this decision? Because Brady destroyed his cell phone AND its SIM card right before he was to meet with independent investigator Ted Wells, who's report led to the discipline dished out to Brady and the New England Patriots for their roles in the Deflate Gate saga. Goodell said Brady was aware investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that was on Brady's phone. It was also said that Brady had exchanged 10,000 text messages on that device that now can't be retrieved because the SIM card was also destroyed. Brady has said he routinely destroys cell phones after using them for a certain period of time.
I don't know about you, but that practice in this instance seems to show that Brady had something to hide. If he was innocent, he wouldn't have destroyed the phone and allowed investigators access to the text messages and other information. If he had nothing to hide, then it wouldn't matter what was on the phone, right? And if you get a new cell phone, don't you usually keep your SIM card to transfer your info to your new phone?
And if the Patriots and owner Robert Kraft had no knowledge or involvement in Deflate Gate, and felt they and Brady were wronged by the findings of the Wells Report, why didn't they appeal the punishment the team was given? The Patriots were stripped of their 2016 first round draft pick, a second draft pick, and fined $1 million dollars. Kraft's explanation for accepting the punishment was that it was best for the league as a whole if everybody just moved on from Deflate Gate.
Accepting a punishment that would be unjust if you were innocent? Destroying evidence investigators had requested? I don't think it matters whether it's in federal court or a local magistrate's office, those two things certainly make Tom Brady and the New England Patriots look guilty as charged.
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