It already had become clear that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers had failed to disclose Tom Brady‘s knee injury throughout the 2020 season. Previously, the NFL had declined comment on this obvious violation of the rules.
Now that the NFL, through its in-house media conglomerate, has reported that Brady had a fully-torn MCL in his left knee, the violation becomes even more glaring. The league persists in its refusal to address the matter, however.
“We will decline comment,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told PFT via email on Thursday.
And so the team’s lack of transparency becomes compounded by the league’s lack of transparency. While that strategy may work in the short term, these issues could eventually create major problems for the league, as more states legalize wagering on sports and as more legislators and/or prosecutors realize that cheating now has consequences that extend far beyond the NFL’s 32 teams, affecting the integrity of the bets made on games.
The situation also underscores the existence and value of inside information. Eventually and inevitably, a scandal will emerge regarding someone on or connected to an NFL team funneling facts hidden from the public to gambling interests. At some point, the league will have a huge mess on its hands.
And so the league has two choices. It can be proactive about this issues and avoid the creation of the mess in the first place, or it can wait for the mess to unfold, feign ignorance as to the possibility of said mess, and wait for the government to clean it up through new laws or regulations or grand-jury investigations.