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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The word “optics” is sometimes used to describe a bad look or perception in professional sports.
That’s what came to mind when watching video of NFL commissioner Roger Goodell at Thursday night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame dinner, in an exchange with inductee Ron Wolf, a longtime general manager whose work with the Packers has long been recognized as exemplary.
As Goodell and Wolf shook hands, with Goodell congratulating him, NFL Network cameras captured audio of Wolf saying to Goodell, “Way to go on that Brady thing.”
Wolf slapped Goodell on the shoulder with his left hand as he delivered those remarks, and Goodell’s reaction was to let out a hearty laugh.
Naturally this reaction will enrage New England Patriots followers, and perhaps even owner Robert Kraft.
Deflategate is obviously no laughing matter to them.
At the same time, it’s possible Goodell didn’t hear Wolf, or understand the context in which the remarks were made. But from a pure “optics” standpoint, he almost certainly won’t get that benefit of the doubt from those in New England.
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