Commentary by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com









I will be ordering my “FREE BRADY” t-shirt later this morning but first I want to thank New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft for his statement following the announcement of a four-game suspension for star quarterback Tom Brady. It is easy to be in someone’s corner in the good times but the measure of character and loyalty is standing with them through the tough times.


“Tom Brady has our unconditional support. Our belief in him has not wavered,” said Kraft.


Kraft further said, “Despite our conviction that there was no tampering with footballs, it was our intention to accept any discipline levied by the league. Today’s punishment, however, exceeded any reasonable expectation. It was based completely on circumstantial rather than hard or conclusive evidence.

We are humbled by the support the New England Patriots have received from our fans throughout the world. We recognize our fans’ concerns regarding the NFL’s penalties and share in their disappointment in how this one-sided investigation was handled, as well as the dismissal of scientific evidence supported by Ideal Gas Law in the final report.”


Perhaps the laws of physics are beyond the scope of comprehension outside of New England.


In addition to suspending Brady four games without pay, in a punishment handed down by Executive President Troy Vincent and said to have been authorized by Commissioner Roger Goodell, the Patriots were fined $1 million, stripped of their 2016 first draft pick and their 4th draft pick in 2017.


Seriously? Who stands to gain from the harshness of this punishment? Let me see …. the teams that can’t beat Brady on the field.


There are those who say Brady needs to be suspended at least one game to protect the integrity of the game. Integrity is not served by doling out punishment absent of conclusive evidence, nor by singling out an organization for harsh rebuke because they are a “marquee” team. No matter what, even if Brady successfully appeals the suspension his name will forever be tied to this alleged cheating scandal -so, his detractors will get some satisfaction.


As others have pointed out, there is utter absurdity in the National Football League having initially suspended former Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice a mere two games for beating and dragging his then girlfriend – now wife – an assault that was documented on tape then turning around and levying a four game suspension against Brady for allegedly, “probably”, having awareness that two Patriots employees deflated the pressure of footballs to gain an advantage in the AFC championship game versus the Colts last season. The Rice incident is just one of many reported incidents of domestic abuse among NFL players. How about the initial, less than outraged, response from the NFL over the “switch” beating by the Vikings Adrian Peterson’s of his 4-year old son. Go to dailysnark.com/pictures-adrian-petersons-sons’-beating-wounds-emerge to see the child’s wounds.


So alleged deflated footballs is where the NFL draws a line in the sand? It does not matter that one occurred on the gridiron and the others off when you’re talking about the supposed integrity of the game. Brady’s father has been quoted as calling the entire matter “framegate.”


An online petition has been started to boycott the NFL if a suspension against Brady was issued. I wrote a previous commentary in which I said I would not be watching the program if Brady were suspended for the first game of the coming season. I will not. Hit the NFL where it will matter to them, in lost television revenue.


What really needs to happen, and soon, is the replacement of Goodell as league commissioner.