Tom Brady Suspension Upheld by Roger Goodell, Now Everybody’s Suing Everybody
Roger Goodell finally made a decision regarding the Tom Brady suspension on Tuesday. After carefully weighing all the evidence and testimony pertaining to Brady’s role in the Deflategate scandal, Goodell rejected his appeal and upheld the original four-game suspension.
That means Brady will miss as many games for letting air out of some footballs as Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy will miss for beating up his girlfriend and paying her off so she wouldn’t testify at his appeal.
The NFL cited crucial new evidence in explaining Goodell’s decision. On or before March 6, when Brady met with Ted Wells, Brady had his assistant destroy the cell phone he had been using since November 2014. According to the NFL, Brady knew that investigators had requested records from that phone, including nearly 10,000 text messages and other electronic data.
The NFL was not informed that the phone had been destroyed until June 18. At his appeal hearing in New York in June 23, Brady explained that he always destroyed his cell phone and SIM card when he gets a new one. (So nobody finds the pics of Giselle in an S&M outfit, walking Brady like a dog?) However, the NFL didn’t buy that explanation, instead concluding that Brady “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 scheme.”
Of course, there’s just one huge problem with the NFL’s line of reasoning.
Yes, Brady did destroy his cellphone. But as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk points out, after his June 23 appeal hearing, Brady’s agents offered to help the NFL track down the missing records—and the NFL refused.
It’s all right there in footnote 11 on page 12 of the NFL’s report:
“After the hearing and after the submission of post-hearing briefs, Mr. Brady’s certified agents offered to provide a spreadsheet that would identify all of the individuals with whom Mr. Brady had exchanged text messages during [the relevant time] period; the agents suggested that the League could contact those individuals and request production of any relevant text messages that they retained. Aside from the fact that, under Article 46, Section 2(f) of the CBA, such information could and should have been provided long before the hearing, the approach suggested in the agents’ letter — which would require tracking down numerous individuals and seeking consent from each to retrieve from their cellphones detailed information about their text message communications during the relevant period — is simply not practical.”
Simply not practical? How hard could it have been to look at Brady’s list, find the six or seven relevant people, and ask for their phone records?
It’s not hard to understand why Brady’s agent says “the appeal process was a sham.” It’s also not hard to understand why Brady has authorized the NFLPA to appeal the NFL’s decision in a federal court.
So stay tuned. This is not over yet.
Hat Tip – [ESPN]