SAN FRANCISCO (WWLP) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s decision not to pursue an appeal in the Deflategate scandal will not have an impact on Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension.
Taking reporters’ questions Wednesday afternoon during the NFL owners’ meeting in San Francisco, the commissioner at first sidestepped a question about his impartiality on the matter of Brady’s appeal, which Goodell has decided to personally oversee. Moments later, however, he defended his position by noting that the punishment came as a recommendation from NFL Vice President of Player Engagement Troy Vincent, rather than from himself personally.
He said that if there is any new evidence in the case, he wants Brady to bring it before him.
“I want to hear directly from Tom,” Goodell said.
He said that he can understand why Brady would be upset about the matter, but said that the league has to enforce its regulations.
“Anytime someone is suspended from a game they love, it’s difficult,” the commissioner said.
“I have great admiration and respect for Tom Brady, but the rules have to be applied on a uniform basis.”
Goodell also answered questions about a possible move of at least one NFL franchise to Los Angeles. The San Diego Chargers, the St. Louis Rams, and the Oakland Raiders are all considered possible candidates for a move to the nation’s second-largest city. Nothing definite has been decided at this point, but two sites for a new stadium are being considered in the Los Angeles area, and Goodell said that if a franchise is located in L.A., Super Bowl LIV could possibly be held there.
He also discussed the growing popularity of the league in other countries, and noted that there has been talk about holding regular-season games in Germany and Mexico, and possibly the Pro Bowl in Brazil.