- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

The relationship between New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is understandably dicey.

Following the infamous “deflategate” incident in New England, in which Brady and the Patriots were accused of tampering with the footballs in the AFC Championship Game in 2015, Brady and the NFL engaged in an ugly legal battle that stretched for over a year.

Brady, after having a four-game suspension in 2015 vacated by a federal judge, was given another four-game suspension for the start of the 2016 season, nearly a year-and-a-half after the alleged incident.

With that contentious history between the league’s top executive and the league’s most famous player, Super Bowl LI sets up a potentially awkward scene for the NFL.

A Patriots‘ victory over the Atlanta Falcons would put Goodell on the post-game platform, handing the Lombardi Trophy to Brady.

Asked about that possibility, Brady said he doesn’t hold a grudge.

“I have no animosity towards anybody. I’m a very loving person,” Brady told the Daily News. “I want to win for my family and I want to win for my teammates and my coaches and our fans.”

Brady is not the only member of the Patriots who might have a beef with the commissioner. Since the Brady suspension, owner Robert Kraft reportedly has given Goodell the cold shoulder, and the relationship between Coach Bill Belichick and Goodell has been awkward since Belichick refused to publicly apologize for Spygate, instead avoiding any sort of question about the infamous illegal taping of the New York Jets’ defensive play signals.

 

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