McNair was asked questions by hosts from Sports Radio 610 in Houston at the Texans team luncheon, and Mike Meltser tweeted the main quotes from McNair about deflate-gate as we wait for Judge Richard Berman to rule on Brady's appeal of a four-game suspension. His quotes were collected by WEEI in Boston. (Steph Stradley had the full transcript on her blog.)
McNair said the Patriots and Brady “were going to cooperate fully, and then when it came down to it, they didn’t.” That is what, in his opinion, raised the stakes in the controversy.
His comments are interesting because so few owners other than Pats owner Robert Kraft have had anything substantial to say about the issue. McNair is just one of 32 owners, but it's probably a window into what the majority of the group thinks about the issue. Which is basically, the Patriots and Brady are getting what they deserve.
What McNair's comments don't include were any analysis of how an email from the NFL to the Patriots and a subsequent ESPN report that 11 of 12 footballs were significantly deflated — a report that was never corrected by the league even though it was wrong — helped turn a minor issue into a scandal. McNair also didn't say that Brady was unaware not giving over his personal communication would lead to punishment, and he didn't acknowledge that nowhere in the CBA does it state that a player's personal communication is subject to review by the NFL. Or that Brady cooperated with investigator Ted Wells otherwise by answering every question, as did the Patriots aside from not making employee Jim McNally available for a fifth interview.
[Wetzel to Forde Daily Podcast: What is holding up the judge's deflate-gate decision?]
The situation escalated looooooooong before Brady destroyed his cell phone. But, continue, Bob.
“Is there anything conclusive there? No, you don’t have any conclusive evidence, but the whole idea is we want to make sure we have a competitive playing field that’s level for everybody," McNair said. "We don’t want people breaking the rules.”
Oh. Apparently the NFL takes breaking the rules seriously, but not fair process. Because, clearly, suspending someone admittedly with no evidence or without it ever being looked at by anyone independent is OK, as long as you're doing it to uphold the rules, which nobody can be sure anyone broke. McNair also said J.J. Watt wouldn't have destroyed his cell phone in a similar situation, and I can't even respond to that because my head hurts so bad.
Let's be honest, there's no real surprise that an owner who probably envies the success of the Patriots has put all the blame on them and Brady. I'm sure if one of McNair's players got suspended without any conclusive evidence he'd be fine with it, as long as it's in the name of upholding a competitive playing field.
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