June 04, 2015
Seeking an edge is nothing new in sports. But punishing Brady smells more of hypocrisy than righteousness. Unlike many pro footballers, Brady has not been caught driving drunk, beating his wife or girlfriend, or been involved in multiple homicides. Yet he’s been suspended for doing what comes naturally in pro sports. The NFL regularly drafts so called college graduates whose talents are more likely to land them in jail than on the football field. Ray Lewis, the Baltimore linebacker and future Hall of Famer, was involved in a double homicide, pleaded nolo contendere, and is now the face of the NFL on ESPN. Adrian Peterson beat his four-year-old with a branch, was suspended with pay, and will play again this year. Ray Rice infamously knocked his wife out in an elevator and was caught by the camera. Otherwise he”d still be playing. Brady deflating footballs was never proved but he had one thing going against him. He is white, intelligent, and has a beautiful wife. Let’s throw the book at him.
It seems a very long time ago, but I witnessed the match as it involved my Davis Cup doubles partner, Niko Kalogeropoulos. It was on the center court of Roland Garros, during the French Open. Niko was playing the number one French player Pierre Darmon and had point for match point when the Frog hit an approach shot down the line that Niko covered well but missed. But the linesman called Darmon’s shot out. Match point for the Greek. That’s when Niko gave the signal that the approach shot was on the line. The French cheered, the score became deuce, and Darmon eventually won the match. “Apollo cried,” was the headline in a French newspaper the next day. Lacoste gave him three free shirts. Niko now lives in reduced circumstances in Costa Rica.
But times change. The number one draft pick of the NFL this year, Jameis Winston, yes, that’s how he spells his first name, has been accused of rape, and has been arrested for shop lifting, among other dubious activities. But he got drafted number one anyway, while Brady will remain on the sidelines for awhile. Go figure.