Many people were surprised by the stiff punishment handed down to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady — suspended four games without pay — for his perceived role in the DeflateGate controversy. Everyone, perhaps, except for Bob Costas.
Costas made a stop by the Today show this morning, where he told Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer that Brady fumbled “in the court of public opinion” by failing to be more direct about what he said and did with relation to balls. If Brady had just admitted that the equipment handlers may have taken his request to have the balls inflated to the lowest point allowed by the league a little too far, he may have been spared any repercussions.
Unfortunately for him, Brady is the victim of context. The NFL has had a bad year, they’re trying to respond to yet another scandal in a way that makes them appear responsible and this has gotten so much press that they had to come out tough. Some critics are still going after Roger Goodell and the NFL, saying they were harder on the Pats than they were on players who were accused of domestic abuse. The team was also fined $1 million and had to give up draft picks for the next couple of years. The two staffers who handled the balls may not come back without NFL approval.
Do you agree with Costas?