More than three weeks ago, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said he had yet to study the Ted Wells report, and that Brady would provide his reaction to the controversial 243-page document “hopefully soon.”
Actually, it’s wise for Brady to say nothing, given that his appeal is looming and anything he says publicly can and will be used against him by the league. Via Mike Reiss of ESPN.com, a debate has emerged in Boston regarding whether Brady should say something about the situation. Brady definitely shouldn’t.
Unfortunately for Brady, he already has said too much, starting with a January 22 press conference in which he came off as rattled, naive, and ultimately unpersuasive.
But let’s consider the context of that press conference. Brady met the media in the aftermath of the leak from the league to ESPN that 11 of 12 Patriots footballs were two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum. With no one from the NFL publicly or privately refuting the clearly false report, and with the NFL keeping the real PSI numbers tightly under wraps until the Wells report was published in May, Brady took the podium under the impression that something unusual happened to the footballs.
If Brady is actually innocent, trying to defend himself in the face of such blatantly false facts would have been no easy feat. Regardless, he shouldn’t have tried to defend himself publicly then, and he shouldn’t try to do it now.
After his case is resolved, Brady needs to submit to a no-holds-barred sit-down interview and tell his story, fully and completely with no unanswered questions and no half truths.
That’s exactly how an innocent person would behave. And if he doesn’t behave that way, it’ll be difficult for Brady ever to be acquitted in the court of public opinion.