Let’s see if we can sort this out for just a moment.
The National Football League suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for two games after a video showed him punching his then-fiancée — and now his wife — in the face, knocking her out cold in an Atlantic City, N.J. elevator. It then elevated the suspension to “indefinite” status, meaning he would be unable to play pro football in the NFL probably forever.
Rice then appealed his suspension and had it overturned by a federal court. The NFL sought to send a message that it wouldn’t tolerate domestic violence.
It’s the two-game initial suspension that got everyone up in arms. It wasn’t enough, they said.
Now we have New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady getting a four-game suspension. For what? An NFL report says he probably knew something about the deflating of footballs prior to last season’s AFC championship game, which the Pats won by 38 points. There’s been no proof that he did anything wrong. Just a lot of circumstantial stuff.
He’s out four games. Without pay.
The message here? I’m betting the NFL wants to say that it won’t tolerate cheating, so they’re going to make an example of an All-Universe athlete.
But have you noticed Brady’s public demeanor during all of this? He’s looked a bit smug, as if he’s not taking this very seriously.
As my late mother used to say when she scolded me, “Wipe that smirk off your face or I’ll wipe it off for you!”
My hunch is that the NFL is seeking to wipe Brady’s smug look off his face.
Mission accomplished? I think so.