Roger Goodell: Bill Belichick ‘deceived’ me with no public apology over Spygate
|02.02.11 at 11:23 am ET|
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reveals in this week’s edition of ‘Sports Illustrated’ that he wanted Patriots coach Bill Belichick to make a verbal apology in front of the press in the wake of the 2007 video scandal, and when Belichick didn’t, he felt ‘deceived.’
Goodell fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and deducted a first-round draft pick for secretly videotaping an opposing team’s coaching signals. Owner Robert Kraft thought the penalty was too severe, but Goodell told Kraft that, as part of the disciplinary action, Belichick also must make a verbal apology in front of the press. Instead the coach issued a printed statement and refused to answer any questions on the topic.
‘I was given assurances that [Belichick] would tell his side of the story,’ Goodell says. ‘He went out and stonewalled the press. I feel like I was deceived.’
‘I did not make any assurances about thoroughly discussing the subject publicly,’ Belichick responded in the story. ‘I said I would address it following the league’s review. I then did that in a way I thought was appropriate. I don’t think that was deceptive.’
The statement Belichick issued in the wake of the fine read as follows: ‘Although it remains a league matter, I want to apologize to everyone who has been affected, most of all ownership, staff and players. Following the league’s decision, I will have further comment.’