HOUSTON — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell addressed Deflategate on Wednesday during his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference, saying he had no regrets over his handling of the deflated-footballs controversy.
“We had a violation,” Goodell said. “We went through a process. We applied the discipline in accordance with our process. It was litigated, as you know, extensively and validated by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. So we’re moving on from that. That’s part of our history, but it’s something that we’re comfortable with the process, with the decision. And like I say, we’re focusing on the game now.”
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games of this season for his alleged role in Deflategate. The Patriots went 3-1 without Brady and 13-1 after he returned to secure a spot in Super Bowl LI.
Goodell would not disclose whether he has spoken with Brady this season.
“I never talk about whether (or) when I have conversations with players,” Goodell said. “If they want to disclose that, that’s their prerogative. But I think people, when we communicate, expect a level of confidence that I am not going to take that outside of the circle. That they can call or communicate — and I can do the same for them — without having to read it in the newspapers every time.”
Goodell has not attended a Patriots game at Gillette Stadium since the 2014 playoffs, but he said he’d be willing to in the future — if he’s invited.
Brady and the Patriots will face the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday at Houston’s NRG Stadium.
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