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Speaking in Washington with Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that he stands behind destroying the Patriots spying tapes after viewing and punishing the three time Super Bowl Champions.
Specter says Goodell told him that the Patriots admitted to taping opposing coaches signals since Bill Belichick took over in 2000. Specter said Goodell had told him Belichick said he thought the taping was legal but Goodell didn’t agree.
Specter wanted to speak to Goodell because he feels the entire process of hearing the claims, seeing the tapes, punishing the Pats and destroying the tapes all took place in a two week span, and though he won’t come out and say there was a cover-up, he’s intreagued by “the amount of haste” in which the events took place.
My Take: I think the most important thing to come out of the meeting is the Belichick admission of taping coaches since 2000. Whether or not he really thought it was legal, this might open another whole can of worms. As for the story as a whole, I think Specter has a right to talk to Goodell because the NFL enjoys an anti-trust exemption and if the league front office can’t be trusted then they should lose that privilege. However, I agree with Goodell’s actions in destroying the tapes. Why would he keep them around? So they could be leaked to the media? There is no reason not to destroy the tapes as soon as they were received.