NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has no plans to reduce the suspension he handed down to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for the role the league believes he played in deflating footballs last season, Todd Porter of the Canton Repository reports.
Goodell suspended Brady for four games to start the 2015 season. Brady and the NFL Players’ Association are suing to have the suspension overturned.
During an exclusive interview with The Repository inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Goodell was asked if the suspension will tarnish Brady’s legacy and standing as future Hall of Famer.
“The integrity of the game is the most important thing,” Goodell said, a few feet from the Hall of Fame’s mission statement that expresses the importance of the promoting the values of the game. “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,” Goodell said. “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.”