Tiki Barber was not in studio earlier this week, but now that he’s back, he needed to get some things off his chest about Roger Goodell.
According to Yahoo! Sports columnist Dan Wetzel – and others – Goodell manipulated Tom Brady’s DeflateGate testimony to paint a picture more favorable to punishing the NFL’s Golden Boy, a prospect that has left the NFL on shaky ground and Goodell’s credibility, or what remained of it, in shambles.
Barber unloaded on Goodell on Friday.
“Forget what he’s been punishing,” Barber said on CBS Sports Radio. “This has nothing to do with Tom Brady. It does, but it doesn’t. I want to put that aside for a second because whether you think he’s guilty (or not), it almost doesn’t matter. What happened in this case was Roger Goodell hired Ted Wells to do a report. Now we subsequently found out that NFL lawyers were working with Ted Wells to compile this report, even though it was supposed to be independent. . . . When Ray Rice had this altercation with his girlfriend in the elevator, the story then was that Roger Goodell was saying ‘I didn’t ever see the video. I had no idea that this actually happened.’ Now, Because of what just came out with this Tom Brady thing and DeflateGate, it now (makes me) question whether Roger Goodell was lying to save his ass then, too.
“And so, for a long time, I wanted to be behind Roger Goodell,” Barber continued. “I wanted to say, ‘I understand this is a no-win situation and you’re not used to handling these things.’ But I feel like he’s lying and compromising himself. And I wonder if this is worth his job. He has probably compromised his job. You can’t go lie and undermine a player and an owner and then think the other owners won’t say ‘Hey dude, we can’t trust you anymore. You got to be gone.’”
As Brandon Tierney pointed out, the NFL did not handle DeflateGate with an innocent-until-proven guilty mindset. Instead, it was almost as though the NFL decided from the start that Brady was guilty and then sought to manipulate and tweak information just to prove its position – which is the complete opposite of what this country was founded on.
“There is a rule of law,” Barber said. “That’s why we live here. The rule of law matters. Process mattes – and you can’t just change the process and think nobody’s going to find out. It’s almost like he’s got a dictatorship going on. What I say is rule, and I’m going to make it up as I go along and you cannot protest – and if you do protest, it’s going to be harder on you. That’s what this feels like and it’s not okay with me. I know some people will sit back and say, ‘Yeah, but it’s a private enterprise, they make billions of dollars, they can do whatever they want.’ Tom Brady has rights. The Patriots have rights. And you can’t just stomp on them because you have an agenda you may not be telling anybody about. . . . Roger Goodell is not explaining himself. He’s either being incompetent or he’s being specifically and maliciously evasive – and it’s just not okay. I used to have trust in what he was doing. I don’t anymore, especially since this transcript came out and it reads like someone who just doesn’t care. It’s my way or no way.”
Tierney asked Barber if he thought Goodell should lose his job.
“Yes,” Barber said. “All this stuff is coming out now – it looks ugly for Roger Goodell. I don’t trust him as the commissioner of the National Football League anymore. So to answer your question, yeah, I’d fire him.”