Transparency apparently has its limits.
During the investigation and initial discipline phase of #DeflateGate, the NFL was committed to making all relevant information available for public scrutiny. Now that the process has progressed to an appeal of quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension, the transcript of the proceedings won’t be released.
“There is a confidentiality agreement in place,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told PFT via email on Tuesday night. This means that neither the NFL nor Brady will be disclosing the document containing everything said by all lawyers, witnesses, and Commissioner Roger Goodell during Tuesday’s marathon session in Manhattan.
The confidentiality agreement likely will go out the window, if/when Brady and the NFL Players Association file a lawsuit against the NFL challenging the outcome of the appeal process. At that point, the transcript will become Exhibit A to the civil complaint kicking off the court case. Unless the presiding judge agrees to seal all documents (and there’s no reason for any judge to do that, especially with the 243-page Ted Wells report already in the public domain), there’s a good chance the media eventually will have a chance to study a document much longer than the 243-page Ted Wells report.
Which, for that reason alone, should make anyone in the media think twice about hoping that the transcript eventually will be released. Or maybe we could just develop opinions on the transcript without, you know, reading it.