- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post opines on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's harsh penalties against the New England Patriots, cracking the whip in the process.
"Goodell predetermined guilt in DeflateGate; that’s clear now," Jenkins writes. "He has smeared Tom Brady and the New England Patriots without proper evidence or a competent investigation, and turned an unimportant misdemeanor into a damaging scandal, as part of a personal power play to shore up his flagging authority. In other cases, he just looked inept. In this one, he looks devious."
Few have come out as strongly as Jenkins.
On the Wells report, she writes, "We already know the Wells report missed crucial information and didn’t consider important facts. Ted Wells either overlooked or ignored crucial text messages, he used a firm with a reputation for bending science to fit predetermined conclusions, and he cherry-picked the memory of an NFL referee. But that’s not all. The Wells report left completely unexamined the fact that the NFL has never once considered the inflation of footballs to be a matter of great integrity or competitive advantage, before now. And this is where Brady can blow the commissioner out of a courtroom. And perhaps out of his job."
As for the next step in the process, it's setting a date for Brady's appeal, while also answering the question of whether Goodell will step aside as arbitrator.
Brady's legal team is expected to bring up the unprecedented punishment, which Jenkins also touches upon in her piece.
"Here again, Goodell is practicing selective punishment," she writes. "Brett Favre didn’t turn his cell over either, in a far more unpalatable case over sexual harassment in the workplace. Know what Goodell gave him? A $50,000 fine. With no suspension."
Sally Jenkins of the Washington Post has strong views on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's penalties against the Patriots.