I’m watching the first episode of Skip Bayless’ new show on FS1, Undisputed.
So far they’ve covered everything from the Tony Romo-less Cowboys to the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Right now, though, they’re talking about Tom Brady’s removal of the NFL decal from his helmet.
I thought this story had passed me by. It blew up last week and has mellowed down since. But if Skip Bayless can discuss a week-old issue, so can I.
Now, despite being a direct violation of NFL rules, I don’t care that Tom Brady did this. In fact, I love that he did it.
“But Taylor, of course you do, you’re a Pats fan, you love breaking the rules!”
Shut up. Removing a decal from his helmet is literally the smallest thing Tom Brady could have done in protest of the NFL. And it’s certainly not the first time an NFL player has expressed displeasure with the NFL’s handling of Deflategate.
Since January of 2015, there have been countless guys who have spoken out against the suspension levied against Tom Brady.
Just last week DeAngelo Williams of the Pittsburgh Steelers released a video celebrating the exoneration of James Harrison. Listen closely to what he says.
— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) September 1, 2016
Did you hear that? The Tom Brady rule. That’s when the NFL decides to investigate you while also attempting to ruin your reputation. Nice. Always good to hear that your quarterback’s bogus investigation and suspension is now the benchmark for the largest sports league in the United States, right?
No. It’s ridiculous and absolutely wrong.
Since 2001 he has been a face of the NFL. He’s epitomized everything you’d want in one of your superstars. His work ethic, preparation, on-field performance, off-the-field etiquette, everything has been exactly what the NFL wants from a player.
Yet, because Roger Goodell had dropped the ball so many times in the past, all of this still happened. Because he unnecessarily suspended Sean Payton for a year, and then Ray Rice for a game, despite having the footage of him knocking Janay Palmer out in an elevator. Because of the mishandling of other domestic violence cases involving NFL players, and mishandling of numerous situations in general, Tom Brady was martyred.
The commissioner of the NFL had to flex his muscles. To do so, he chose the greatest quarterback of all time as his target. He aimed for the king because he knew he couldn’t miss.
And that’s why I don’t care that Tom Brady removed the NFL decal from his helmet. Why would he continue to display support for the league that carried out a witch hunt against him and has continued to go after him for the two years following it?
He hasn’t been vocal about it, he hasn’t done anything wrong. This form of protest is minuscule and pales in comparison to what it could have been.