It’s image, not career, that suffers most for uncooperative Brady

(Photo courtesy of the New England Patriots)

By Clark Judge

Talk of Fame Network

Tom should’ve listened to Mom.

Presumably, Mrs. Brady once told her son to tell the truth … to always, always tell the truth … and he’d be OK. But his failure to cooperate with the NFL in the Wells investigation is proof of what can happen when you don’t.

Tom Brady was suspended the first four games of 2015, and the NFL’s decision – which was handed down Monday afternoon – makes it clear that Brady’s failure to cooperate with authorities played a significant role in a penalty more damaging to his reputation than his career.

“Your actions set forth in the report,” NFL Executive Vice President of Football Operations Troy Vincent wrote in a letter to Brady notifying him of the suspensions, “clearly constitutes conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence in the game of professional football.”

Furthermore, Vincent indicated he didn’t believe Brady told the truth when he spoke with investigators, saying that he provided testimony that the Wells report concluded “was not plausible and contradicted by other evidence.”

Bottom line: He should’ve played ball.

Look, I don’t care what you think of what Brady allegedly did or what his role in this was. To me, it’s tantamount to a pitcher scuffing up a baseball or throwing a spitter. You’re not supposed to do it, but some guys try. And if they’re caught, they’re penalized.

OK, I understand that. He broke a rule, and he should suffer the consequences.

But he could’ve helped himself, if nothing more than in the court of public opinion, by telling us what he knew, what he did and why he did it. People are forgiving, and, guaranteed, if Tom Brady had said something like, “I didn’t know this was such a big deal but I do now, and I won’t do it again” … or “I was just trying to protect my teammates by saying nothing” … or “this isn’t who I am, and I foolishly did something I regret”… fans would have been more forgiving.

Maybe the NFL wouldn’t. But fans would.

But by saying nothing … worse, by laughing off the subject on national TV… he practically dared the league to drop the hammer. So it did. And now Tom doesn’t look so Terrific.

Bad enough to be considered a cheater. Now he looks like a liar, too, with a line on his resume nobody wants: Suspended four games for violating league rules.

That’s not how you want to be remembered, and it won’t be how Tom Brady is remembered. The guy won four Super Bowls, for crying out loud, was a three-time Super Bowl MVP and is a Hall-of-Fame cinch. But, guaranteed, somewhere in his obituary the word “Deflategate” will appear. It may not be until the middle or the end of the story, but it will be there – a blemish on the All-American boy.

“The key consideration in any case like this,” Vincent wrote to the Patriots, “is that the playing rules exist for a reason, and all clubs are entitled to expect that the playing rules will be followed by participating teams. Violations that diminish the league’s reputation for integrity and fair play cannot be excused.”

As I said, I don’t care what you think of what Brady did or might have done. The biggest complaint I have is that he didn’t comply with repeated requests – no demands — from his employer. The NFL asked for his cooperation, and he failed to give it.

That’s a no can-do.

When Tom Brady had a chance to clear his name … when he had a chance to tell us exactly what happened … he didn’t, and don’t ask me why. But when someone doesn’t respond to inquiries, the presumption is that he’s hiding something.

Until or unless he demonstrates that he’s not.

Tom Brady made a big mistake here. He shouldn’t have listened to legal counsel, team representatives or close friends. He should’ve listened to his conscience and done what he was told to do so many years ago, which is to do what’s right. Now he’s suffering the consequences, and I’m not talking just about four games.

I’m talking about his reputation.


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  1. Anonymous
    May 12, 2015

    What if he is telling the truth?

    • May 12, 2015

      Then he should come forward and tell us what he knows.

  2. Lawrence S. Schneiderman
    May 12, 2015

    You’re absolutely right. And, in my view, here’s the bottom line: “when he had a chance to tell us exactly what happened … he didn’t, and don’t ask me why. But when someone doesn’t respond to inquiries, the presumption is that he’s hiding something.”

    Brady, like Hillary Clinton and her emails, will never tell the truth, because Brady like Hillary will not admit that they did something wrong or illegal. Both are guilty as hell. For both of them, the ends justify the means. Brady wanted a Championship and Super Bowl, and Clinton wants to President (GF).

    Still, there is at least one huge difference between Brady and Clinton.

    Brady deflated a football, in a professional sporting event.

    In Benghazi, terrorists murdered the United States Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Clinton put Americans in harm’s way and left them to die; when it interfered with her political agenda. Clinton deep-six requests for military support to save the life of her Ambassador and the men who tried to save him. Then lied and destroyed evidence to cover-up her acts.

    What Clinton did was illegal (destroying government property) and despicable (not authorizing military intervention to save the loves of Americans). What Brady did was to violate the rules of the game (deflate footballs) and then lied about it (cover-up).

    It’s that perspective thing again. I can live with Brady. I cannot abide by Clinton.

    • May 12, 2015

      Yep, failure to cooperate his biggest offense in my eyes. I understand he broke a rule, but it was a rule that was randomly enforced. To me, sorta like scuffing up a baseball. OK, if he did it he did it. Sit him. But it doesn’t affect his career. But by not cooperating he gives the impression that he’s hiding something. I mean, if you have nothing to hide then why hide it? Want to know from Brady. His silence hurt him.

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