Goodell defends Brady suspension at HOF

Commissioner Roger Goodell is in Canton this weekend, and he's not backing down from his four-game suspension of quarterback Tom Brady. "The integrity of the game is the most important thing," he told the Canton Repository.


Talk of Fame Network

In an exclusive interview with the Canton Repository Friday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he stood firmly by his decision to suspend Tom Brady for four games in the "Deflategate'' scandal.

During his weekend visit to the Hall-of-Fame's annual induction ceremony, Goodell spent a tense few minutes in the same room with Patriots' owner Robert Kraft. Reportedly, no hugs were shared, and no couch sharing moments were sighted.

Later Goodell told the Repository: “The integrity of the game is the most important thing, The integrity of the game is something we will always protect. The rules apply to everybody. That is my job in particular, to make sure everyone from our players to our coach, to our fans and our partners, that they all recognize we’re going to play by these sets of rules, and that’s part of our values and standards.

"Listen, he’s a great player, and he’s a great young man. We issued the decision just last week. We’re in the midst of litigation to ... ensure that that’s enforced the way we ruled on that, after a long process that is established in our collective bargaining agreement. That’s something we’ll play through.”

One night earlier, one of this year's inductees, former Green Bay Packers general manager Ron Wolf, praised Goodell's decision in a brief aside after receiving his Hall-of-Fame gold jacket from Goodell.

“Way to go on that Brady thing,” Wolf said, as he clapped Goodell on his left shoulder. Goodell burst out laughing.

Later, Wolf was asked to clarify his remark and didn't back down.

"I wasn't trying to be a wise guy," Wolf told ESPN's Chris Mortensen. "I realize he has a real tough job. It was just a passing moment, and obviously, it was picked up on a microphone. I basically meant, 'Congrats on making a decision.' That's why the owners are paying him all that money.

"But it's still a tough job, and I congratulated him on making that decision, although I don't think it was anything profound. It happened so quickly. It's not me saying I'm for or against his decision. That's not for me to say."