I hate to say it, but does this border on being racist? I understand the players that got suspended deserved it but the commish took away their livelihood for acts committed outside of the workplace (most of them anyhow)..
Yet, Belichek breaks the rules while at work and gets a slap on the wrist?? 500,000 is nothing to him and the 1st round pick doesn't feel good for the Pats.. but when they still have the #7 pick the lose of the #32 doesn't hurt them one bit..
That's really what bothers me about all of this. I don't think you can truly say it's racist unless you know Roger Goodell and found a white hood hidden in the file drawer on the left side of his desk. But, surely the NFL commissioner should realize that it's the APPEARANCE of impropriety as much as anything else. Perception is the greatest form of reality. And the perception is that he held players to a high standard, while a coach, a team, and an entire franchise have their transgressions quickly swept under the rug.
If the punishment for Henry and Pacman was severe because of "multiple offenses," then how could the video tapes not count as "multiple offenses?" A United States senator has publicly stated that the Patriots had video dating back to 2000. If that's not "multiple offenses," I'd like to know what is.
and the punishment being given before everything was known is very suspicious.. After this ordeal my opinion of Goodell is going down.. and i mean plummetting.. and not necessarily b/c of the hatred i have for the Pats but b/c of how shady he seems to be about all of this..
If he is going to rule with an iron fist he needs to rule Players and Coaches all alike.. HARD!! Just like he gets it from Kraft on every other saturday night in a secluded cabin house..
Again, I don't necessarily think there is an intentional cover-up, on behalf of the Patriots. But the APPEARANCE of impropriety is the problem here. If there isn't a cover-up, it sure looks pretty bad that the league office dished out the punishment and destroyed the videos that the PATRIOTS "volunteered" to them in a span of about 4 days.
Personally, I think the cover-up is more about fear than about the Patriots. I think the league is afraid that teams, gamblers, etc. will learn that the outcomes of games were/could be very easily influenced, if not outright manipulated. As bad as this is, it would be even worse for the integrity of the league if some bookie came up and said, "Hey, I lost a lot of money on Super Bowl XXXVI, who's gonna pay me for that?"