After the report from Ted Wells was released on “Deflategate,” the hysteria surrounding New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady exploded.
Calls rang in from Patriots haters calling for Brady’s head. The tweets were equally aggressive. But in spite of the Patriots fans who came to their quarterback’s defense, the consensus tone around the NFL was that Brady was staring down a suspension — still waiting to see how long it will be.
Though there was one fellow NFL quarterback who decided to come to Brady’s defense, and it probably isn’t someone you would assume to be a Brady foot soldier — Colin Kaepernick.
No football in the world is going to help you win by 38! Let it go and let Tom be great! On to the 2015 season #7tormsComing
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 8, 2015
Kaepernick is of course referring to the Patriots’ stomping of the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship last season 45-7. And he’s right. You can’t stand firm and argue the footballs being inflated properly would have made a huge difference in that game.
But Kaepernick is missing the point. The reason why Brady is on the chopping block isn’t because the footballs were deflated. Brady is in trouble because he did not fully cooperate with the NFL and come forth with all useful information regarding the incident. Wells’ report contradicted Brady’s story.
Most importantly, the issue is intent. It’s unfair to call Tom Brady a fraud or a bad quarterback. Look, the guy is a proven champion and a sure-fire lock for the hall of fame. The issue is intent.
The Wells’ report stated that it’s more likely than not Brady had knowledge of the balls being deflated. Circumstantial evidence is all we have to go with, and it is enough to suspend Brady.
As good as Brady is, the intent — should Brady have known — was to gain a competitive advantage by breaking a rule set by the NFL. That’s the issue, Kaepernick.
Brady will likely be suspended for multiple games next season, and he’ll probably appeal. To many, Brady will never appear the same. To others, like Kaepernick, this is just a bump in the road along a legendary career.