- David J. Phillip/AP
Roger Goodell says there is no “awkward” tension at all with the New England Patriots after Deflategate.
Speaking to Super Bowl media on Wednesday, Goodell was pressed about Deflategate and insisted that the issue is behind him.
When asked if he wishes he could change the way the 18-month process played out, Goodell said that the league handled it correctly.
“No, we had a violation. We went through a process,” Goodell said. “We applied the discipline in accordance with our process. It was litigated, as you know, extensively and validated by the second circuit court of appeals.
“So, we’re moving on from that. That’s part of our history, but it’s something that we’re comfortable with the process, with the decision.”
Goodell has not visited Foxborough, Massachusetts, for a Patriots game since Tom Brady was suspended. During the playoffs, he chose to attend two games in Atlanta. When asked if he would feel awkward going to Foxborough, Goodell said no.
“If I’m invited back to Foxborough, I’ll come,” Goodell said. “I have no doubt that if I wanted to go up to a Patriots game and I asked Mr. Kraft, he would welcome me back”
Goodell added that he doesn’t expect everyone to always agree with his decisions.
Of course, Goodell will be in Houston for Super Bowl LI, and if the Patriots win, many will be watching the moment when he hands the Lombardi Trophy to Brady. Brady has also insisted that Deflategate hasn’t added any extra motivation for him to win the Super Bowl.
Goodell may not feel awkwardly about going to a Patriots game (though one would imagine the commissioner doesn’t need an invite to a game), but New England fans presumably won’t give him a warm greeting if he does.