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Why Women Should Be Furious About Deflategate

Disclaimer: I am a Boston girl/New Englander, born and bred. I am a Patriots fan, and I like Tom Brady (I honestly don’t understand how someone could NOT like him, but that’s a different post). I enjoy football, even though my relationship with sports is complicated as I am also a feminist.

I am mad as hell about the Tom Brady suspension.

And it has nothing at all to do with whether or not he cheated.

What I’m mad about is what Twitter noticed mere moments after the decision to suspend Brady for four games for allegedly deflating footballs during championship game during the 2014 season.

Brady’s suspension is two games MORE than that of Ray Rice, who was caught on videotape beating his fiancée brutally in an elevator.

The Executive VP of Football Operations, Troy Vincent, had this to say to Tom: “Your actions... clearly constitute conduct detrimental to the integrity and public confidence in the game of professional football”

I am almost speechless, but also have too much to say.

Roger Goodell, Troy Vincent, and all those involved in this decision have to answer to all of us. Does Brady’s unconfirmed involvement in a “scandal” that most quarterbacks in the league perpetrate mean more to them than women’s bodies? Are their efforts to “combat domestic violence” truly an empty gesture, like many have critiqued? What on earth is going on at the NFL?

Besides the clear lack of understanding that this decision would be a PR disaster, there’s an apparent prioritizing of “ethics” here. What this decision says is that the NFL values just about everything over the lives and safety of women. I have no way of understanding it.

And for those crying out, “but Brady brought into question the integrity of the game! The incident with Rice was outside of football!” I honestly don’t know what to say to you. We idolize and worship our athletes. And if you don’t see domestic violence in the life of a celebrity as a problem that bleeds into the locker room and the game and the endorsements and the Hall of Fame, then I'm left speechless. The integrity of the game is damaged by those who damage the bodies of the ones they love with malicious intent and anger, and that’s what Rice did.

If our bodies mean nothing to the NFL, maybe withholding our dollars is the next step. Let’s stop buying, let’s stop watching, let’s stop participating until Goodell resigns. I for one cannot go back to the TV when pre-season starts to feed an industry that so clearly values all else over me.

If women stopped buying, stopped watching, stopped playing fantasy football, what would happen? Women make up almost half of all football fans. Our consumer power needs to be exercised. It may be time for a good old-fashioned NFL boycott.

What a shame . . . I really wanted to see Jimmy G play.

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3 Comments

Few comments on this. First off, though the official suspension was only 2 games, lets not forget that the Ravens released Ray Rice, who remains a free agent and may never play again, and the entire city of Baltimore pretty much had a collective bonfire made from Rice Jerseys. Though these aren't the actions of Goodall or the league, they are actions of those representing the NFL. Next and finally, I think the criticism of the only two game suspension is a justifiable one. But it really has nothing to do with Brady's suspension. It is not a reason to shorten Brady's suspension, but to lengthen domestic-violence-related ones. The contrast between the two is stark, but Brady likely cheated and deserves to be punished. And I thought he got off fairly easy.

Ray Rice's career is probably over. Brady, unfortunately, will go on.

The integrity of the game means more to the NFL than an outside incident involving one of its players. No matter what happens people are going to watch and buy merchandise. As far as Brady is concerned, 4 games is excessive, but what better way to show the NFL means business by suspending the face of the NFL. A good looking white SuperBowl winning QB

Absolutely agree 100%, it's an abomination that this unconfirmed allegation of involvement in "unsportsmanlike behavior" is taken more seriously than the verified CRIMINAL behavior of Ray Rice. This is insane.

New England Patriots, 2011
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Tom Brady throwing a pass in a 2011 game against the Colts.
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How to cite this page

Diamant, Emilia. "Why Women Should Be Furious About Deflategate ." 12 May 2015. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on December 18, 2017) <https://jwa.org/blog/why-women-should-be-furious-about-deflategate>.

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