This has been a rough offseason for the reputation of the New England Patriots, and although there will always be a Patriot-hater crowd, this season it went to new levels due to Deflategate. The main reason the Patriots were crucified in the national media is a mix of incorrect media reports (Chris Mortensen) and a league that is determined to prove they're right, regardless of treating one of their marquee teams and players like criminals. Today, the Patriots released the email communication from February, and the request was simple- no more media leaks. The Patriots were getting dragged through the coals and the NFL front office let it happen, and may have actually encouraged it. Here are the emails:
Patriots spokesman Stacey James started the communication by emailing NFL PR czar Greg Aiello, but instead of dealing with Aiello, the Patriots had their lead council Robyn Glaser email Jeff Pash, the lead attorney for the NFL. The request is the same- please go to the main media networks that are reporting false information and retract it. Glaser is direct and to the point, and at times clearly gets angry about how Pash is treating the situation. In the final email, Glaser has had enough. Here is the email:
"Jeff- I appreciate your responses today, but to be honest, they have been received here as pretty disingenuous. You have essentially referred the conversation to Ted, and have said that any disclosures by the league at this time would just prompt additional media attention. Please understand that, if the league is disclosing information that is correcting inaccuracies and misinformation that are currently hammering away at our brand, we WELCOME the additional stories and commentary. The League should, too, because it is not good for any member of the League for the Patriots to receive the intense and unwarranted scrutiny to which we have been subjected, mainly because the League-- that takes it guidance from you on this matter-- will just not step up. It is absolutely not ok and completely inexcusable to allow our brand to continue to take such a beating while the investigation is being completed and require us to wait until then for incorrect reporting to be "shown for what it is." Do you really believe that is acceptable?"
"Jeff, you need to step up. I can't tell you the number of times you've told me that you and your office work for us member clubs. It has been made resoundingly clear to us that your words are just a front. They have no substance at all. If you worked for us, you would have already released today a statement to the effect of, ESPN, you've got it wrong. You do not have full information, you are irresponsibly reporting information that us untrue and you need to stop. Furthermore, as you now know and are reporting yourselves, the original story that 11 out of 12 ball were 2 pounds below the minimum allowable psi was just blatantly wrong, we know that because we have the information and here it is..."
"I would appreciate it if you would please tell me everything you are doing, and will continue to do, to stop leaks from occurring. This is information we do not have. We know of not one thing you are doing internally to investigate the sources if the leaks and/or curtail them. We do know that the one thing we've asked you to do--include the League leaks as part of the scope of the Wells investigation--has been rejected by you. So do you blame us for wondering what the heck you mean when you say "I will continue to do what I can to stop leaks from occurring?-Robyn"
Pash responded by stating the email was "personal and accusatory" and he didn't think a "point-by-point reply is likely to accomplish much." He finished by stating that "I work for the Patriots, as well as for the 31 other clubs and the Commissioner. Sometimes that creates tension, as it apparently has here." That was the end of the communication regarding this topic because the Patriots couldn't get the NFL to budge.
I guess the chances of "quieting the rhetoric" are slim and none now after the Patriots dropped this PR bomb; just another chapter in this joke of a controversy that is looking more and more like a manufactured controversy by the NFL. Anything to get people's minds off of all the domestic abuse, right Roger?
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