The three pillars of the New England Patriots’ organization all cracked Sporting News’ recently released ranking of the 50 most influential sports figures — and the franchise’s greatest nemesis topped the list.
The publication tabbed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the person who has the greatest influence on the current sports landscape, ahead of the likes of NBA counterpart Adam Silver (second), ESPN president John Skipper (third) and Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James (fourth).
Further down the list, you’ll find the trio of Patriots: owner Robert Kraft at No. 10, quarterback Tom Brady at No. 30 and head coach Bill Belichick at No. 47.
New England is the only sports franchise with three representatives on the list — the Golden State Warriors have two in Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry — and Brady ranks fourth among current athletes behind only James, Curry (ninth) and tennis star Serena Williams (11th).
Brady, Kraft, Belichick and Goodell all have been at the center of perhaps the biggest sports story of the past two years: Deflategate, which began in January 2015 and continues to affect the Patriots to this day.
Brady will serve the final game of his Deflategate suspension this weekend and will be eligible to return to the field next Sunday, when the Patriots visit the Cleveland Browns in Week 5 of the NFL season.
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