Roger Goodell is reducing suspensions faster than Le'veon Bell can light up, but the Commish decided to draw the line at Tom Brady, upholding the
Patriots quarterbacks' four-game suspension on Tuesday, and setting the stage for a battle in Federal Court.
Four games for a guy who even the independent investigator, Ted Wells, found only had a "general awareness" of footballs being deflated during the AFC Title game. Hardly concrete evidence. But then again, Brady may have had a hand in destroying evidence. The commissioner certainly thinks so, basing his decision on the fact that Brady destroyed his cell phone (and, as a result, as many as 10,000 text messages) just before meeting with Wells back in early March (Brady insists he routinely destroys cell phones, for security reasons).
The issue here, though, is the hard stance taken by a commish who routinely bends on other issues. Say, domestic violence. We all know what a PR disaster the Ray Rice incident was for Goodell, but what about Greg Hardy, the Cowboys' defensive end who recently had his ten-game suspension reduced to four. Four games, for a guy who choked his girlfriend and threw her onto a bed of fully-loaded automatic weapons (allegedly). Whose actions were more egregious? Brady's, or Hardy's?
There may be one other, unspoken, factor in Goodell's decision regarding Brady: the need for the commish to maintain an independent image while dealing
with his good friend's football team. But Goodell has already hit Bob Kraft hard, with a $1 million fine, and loss of draft picks. His stance on Brady is severe, and considering his other penalties involving other players, for real crimes? It's downright absurd.
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