NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell may not have had anything to say about President Donald Trump on Wednesday, but then-candidate Donald Trump has plenty to say about NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell more than a year ago.
“The Commissioner is a dope,” Trump previously told the New York Times in comments published on Wednesday. “He’s a stupid guy.”
The remarks were made in 2015, when Mark Leibovich of the Times was interviewing Trump in connection with a profile. There’s no reason to think President Trump has changed his mind on the subject, given his friendship with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
“The Commissioner is a weak guy,” Trump said at the time. “When he made the Ray Rice deal, everybody said: You’re stupid. You’re weak. And it was such a weak deal. So now he’s going overboard with their star, Brady.”
Trump wanted Brady to go overboard in return.
“I said, ‘Tom’ — I gave him a lawyer — I said, ‘Here’s what you do. Sue the NFL for $500 million tomorrow. Sue ’em up in Boston, for everything. They’ll come to the table.’ He said, ‘Aw, man.’ He really was torn. He’s not Trump. He said, ‘I just want to win another Super Bowl.'” (Ultimately, the lawsuit regarding Brady’s suspension was filed by the NFL in Manhattan, with the goal solely of determining whether the suspension was permitted by the labor deal between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.)
Trump also thinks Kraft erred in trusting Goodell to go easy on Brady in exchange for Kraft’s decision not to fight penalties imposed on the team.
“Bob said, ‘I had a wink from the Commissioner,’” Trump said. “He choked, just like [Mitt] Romney choked. He said: ‘You know what? They winked at me.’ I said, ‘Bob when you make a deal, you should have gotten it all wrapped up.’ Who ever heard of making a deal like that? Now you got this mess.”
Notwithstanding the mess, the Patriots are on the brink of winning the Super Bowl in the same season during which Brady served his four-game #DeflateGate suspension. And President Trump likely isn’t on the brink of inviting Roger Goodell to the White House for a slice of pizza, a taco salad, and/or a bucket of chicken.