Many New England Patriots fans believe that, thanks to victories in Super Bowls XLIX and LI, their team ultimately won Deflategate.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell still doesn’t see it that way, however.
Goodell spoke Wednesday at Bloomberg’s “The Year Ahead” summit, and the conversation (predictably) turned to Deflategate, which gave the commissioner the chance to discuss one of his favorite topics that’s seemingly been pre-programmed into him: “integrity of the game.”
“That’s what every team wants, to know that their partners are operating under the same rules that (they are) operating under,” Goodell said, via CBS Boston’s Michael Hurley. “Coaches want to know that, fans want to know that and players want to know that.
“So, that is the job of the commissioner to protect the integrity of the game.”
The commissioner went on to insist that, in the case of Deflategate, he was only doing what was necessary.
“You have to do what’s right, ultimately,” Goodell said. “And you have to make those decisions regardless of the consequences, and making sure you’re protecting the integrity of the league.”
Goodell made sure to twist the knife one last time before he was done, reminding everyone that his decision to suspend quarterback Tom Brady for four games ultimately held up in court.
“It goes to courts and court after court and appeals court and you get into a legal process and it holds,” Goodell said. “So, from our standpoint we think that it works. As painful as it is, we feel we have to do it.”
It appears that no matter how hard both sides try, this story will never go away — just like the Super Bowl New England won last season despite Brady missing a quarter of the season.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images