After traveling to Atlanta for his second Falcons game in two weeks instead of visiting Gillette Stadium to watch the Patriots in the AFC Championship, Roger Goodell was asked to explain his itinerary. As a guest on a Fox Sports’ radio program hosted by Colin Cowherd, Goodell was immediately put on the spot regarding his apparent avoidance of the team he punished in the Deflategate controversy.
Asked if safety concerns were perhaps a reason for not going to watch the Patriots, Goodell quickly responded, “no.” He expanded on his answer, noting:
We had two great games. I was in Boston two years ago for the divisional and the championship games. I try to get to as many stadiums as I can. But you know we have two great games, and you’ve got to choose. Frankly, the focus should be on the players, the coaches and the great game. And that’s the way it was this week. And that’s the way it should be.
Goodell also said that despite disagreements, he has a “healthy relationship” with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Roger Goodell explains why he didn’t attend the AFC Championship Game in Foxborough pic.twitter.com/dFRIPsCRwx
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 25, 2017
And as far as Tom Brady, Goodell made it known that he would have no problem handing over the Lombardi Trophy:
Roger Goodell to @ColinCowherd on if he'd be uncomfortable handing the Lombardi Trophy to Brady: "Not for a second…it would be an honor."
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) January 25, 2017