The New England Patriots are no strangers when it comes to being investigated by the league, so they were surely sipping their tea when fines were announced for teams that violated offseason workout protocols on Thursday.
The specifics of the infringements are currently unclear, but it likely has something to do with practice intensity and potential player-on-player contact. After all, given that players only wear helmets during OTAs, contact should be at an absolute minimum.
Whatever the case, that wasn’t the biggest NFL news dump on Thursday, as the league announced a $10 million fine for the Washington Football Team.
We’ll get into the specifics later on, but when you compare the NFL’s investigation into Washington’s alleged workplace misconduct to the league’s Deflategate inquiry, the details prove the league was out to punish the Patriots by any means necessary.
The only conclusion we’re left with? Deflategate was a witch hunt.
The NFL’s investigation into the WFT proves Deflategate was a witch hunt.
Sorry, but how is that even possible?
While we totally understand maintaining the integrity of the game after the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs to gain a competitive advantage on a national stage, there’s simply no way something that trivial should result in a 139-page report.
The Football Team, meanwhile, under Dan Synder’s not-so-watchful eye, fostered a negligent work environment to the extent that 15 former employees (!) claimed they were sexually harassed during their time with the organization.
Just a few months later, the Washington Post released another scathing report, referencing interviews of some 100 employees who claimed Synder oversaw a franchise that “marginalized, discriminated and exploited” women.
Among the disturbing details was Snyder being accused of orchestrating an inappropriate photoshoot for team cheerleaders. Some cheerleaders claimed they were required to be topless, though the team calendar would obviously never reveal such nudity.
We could continue, but you get the point. The bottom line is that it’s disgraceful an oral report is what was left standing following this investigation. We’re talking about women being sexually harassed, marginalized and borderline objectified. Heinous actions.
But sure, an inquiry into the Patriots for deflating footballs, albeit with a chance to play in the Super Bowl on the line, requires a 139-page report? Give us a break … or at least drop more of a hammer on the Football Team for their far more despicable actions.
What more evidence do you need that Deflategate was a witch hunt? The Football Team essentially got slapped on the wrist for their disgusting behavior, whereas the Patriots were hit with a $1 million fine, forced to forfeit a draft pick, and saw Tom Brady suspended four games for footballs being below the NFL’s air pressure standards.
That’s really all there is to it.