Written by LaShawn Encarnacion aka The Dark Knight of Sports
As the next session between the NFL and Tom Brady arrives in court for another attempt to resolve “Deflategate” (where the NFL is attempting to prove and convict Tom Brady of damaging the integrity of the league), it is becoming more obvious there is a personal motive by the NFL. Whether it is directed to Brady himself or if it was an attempted to get at the Patriots organization and more targeted at Bill Belichick, the wake left behind in “OTHER” incidents are reinforcing the word “hypocrisy” stronger and stronger every day that the Deflategate case is dragged on.
So lets review the “other” cases in question.
In Atlanta, Falcons owner Rich McKay was found guilty of his regime pumping in extra noise to aid them during home games.While McKay played no direct role in the team piping in crowd noise, the league found former Falcons director of event marketing, Roddy White, directly responsible for the violation. the NFL explained in a March statement made by Roger Goodell and NFL front office:
“Falcons ownership and senior executives, including team President Rich McKay, were unaware of Mr. White’s use of an audio file with artificial crowd noise,” the statement explained. “However, Mr. McKay, as the senior club executive overseeing game operations, bears some responsibility for ensuring that team employees comply with league rules.”
It was announced yesterday, August 27th, that McKay would be allowed back to his home games AND reinstated as chairman of the League’s Competition Committee, a position he was suspended from when the news of noise pumping first came out, as part of his punishment that also included the Falcons being fined $350,000 and forfeited the club’s fifth-round selection in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Next example comes from the Greg Hardy situation.
Former Carolina Panther, now Dallas Cowboys defensive linemen Greg Hardy was arrested, charged and convicted of multiple domestic violence issues in Carolina. During the initial investigation, Hardy was suspended WITH pay by the Panthers as they classified him as “EXEMPT.” Once the conviction came down he was suspended from playing for 10-games. However in the state of North Carolina, there are some legal hoops that can be jumped through to appeal a court decision of this magnitude.
Hardy jumped those hoops and with the assistance of the key witness suddenly being (M.I.A.) to testify in appeals hearing, Hardy got his conviction overturned. THEN his battle turned to getting his suspension in the NFL reduced and because of the overturned conviction the NFLPA got it down to four games for the upcoming season.
In a world of sports where domestic violence is becoming a much more “public” problem, where MLB already took major steps to implement a independent domestic violence policy, players like Greg Hardy are able to have sentences reduced in the NFL and allowed to play based on their talent.
Meanwhile, a person like Mike Vick (who just signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers), who have already served his prison time, continues to do what he needs to improve his image, is being damned and forced out by fans just because of his past? A past he has atoned for already?
Same goes for Ray Rice who seems to be blacklisted by the NFL and its teams as he has atoned for his domestic violence acts and wants another shot in the NFL. He, just as Vick, has done his time and YET, players like Hardy, Ray McDonald, Ahmad Brooks continue to get opportunity after opportunity ALL WHILE avoiding facing punishment.
So lets get back to the Deflategate situation and compare it to the above mentioned.
Does Tom Brady deserve four games for not bringing appropriated inflated footballs into actual competition, NO. The crime does NOT match Greg Hardy’s domestic violence crime … “NOT even CLOSE BUD” (to use the Judd Nelson quote from The Breakfast Club). Patriots were already fined so that does fall into proper punishment as it does coincide with Falcons and YET Brady may not be playing until this is resolved, or vice-versa, could be suspended after injunction is granted and later it is found that Brady is to serve suspension. McKay may not have directly been involved with noise pumping but that does not mean he was not aware of the events. Same goes for Brady, which proven by text messages Brady knows more than he is sharing at this time. Should he get suspended for not cooperating with the NFL 100%? That is more likely as it is policy to do so.
So lets get to the bottom line, brass tax if you will.
Is there some hypocrisy going on the NFL? Well obviously like exploiting its players, favoring some players over others, not providing proper medical care after a player finishes their career. But it is JUST the NFL offices and Roger Goodell who are partaking in said hypocritical practices? Eh not so much. In these situations there always needs to be a “fall guy” and YES I did use the Cris Carter controversial phrase here but it is valid as well. The NFLPA with the votes of the players voted to give Goodell the power. It was part of the last CBA.
It is no secret that numerous players and organization believe the New England Patriots to be “cheaters.” Spygate ring a bell? In the end, this situation that is Deflategate is merely a manhunt gone wrong and the original target was missed and the fall guy happens to be “The Golden Boy” Tom Brady. There is some hypocrisy on the part of the NFL offices … but lets remember that there is also some being done per the teams offices AND the players themselves.
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