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Trump, ‘Spygate’ and the stench of tainted victory in New England

There is a specific stench emanating from Foxborough, Massachusetts — household of the New England Patriots, a staff whose onetime Nationwide Soccer League dynasty aroused as considerably suspicion as awe. A related odor can be traced to a nation club in Palm Seaside, Florida, where onetime President Donald Trump now calls home.

That Trump and Patriots owner Robert Kraft have fashioned a mutual admiration culture arrives as no surprise. Nor does the credible assertion that America’s 45th president enabled a single of the extra shameful episodes in the Patriots’ storied history.

That Trump and Patriots proprietor Robert Kraft have formed a mutual admiration modern society will come as no surprise.

Try to remember “Spygate?” New England definitely does. Spygate was the nickname for the Patriots’ illegal videotaping of opposing coaches’ alerts in 2007 to boost their odds of winning games.

Right after an investigation, the NFL fined the Patriots $250,000 and their prickly head coach, Monthly bill Belichick, $500,000 and took away their initial-round choose in the following year’s draft.

These audio like major figures, but in reality they amounted to small additional than a slap on the wrist. A significantly stiffer penalty, these as a playoff ban, could have been imposed. As an alternative, the Patriots went to the Tremendous Bowl that year.

The facts of this scandal are largely public record. But it now appears that Trump may have lent a supporting hand. At least, which is according to the son of former U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter — who abruptly ended his investigation into Spygate in 2008 — as properly as one of Specter’s former aides.

Specter could have held the Patriots and the NFL accountable, or possibly publicly shamed a sports league, as former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell did when he investigated steroid use in Big League Baseball in 2007.

On the other hand, ESPN reported that right after a private evening meal in 2008, Trump informed Specter he could supply a marketing campaign contribution substantial ample to make Spygate disappear.

If correct, would not these types of an overture — which ESPN does not report was ever consummated — be viewed as that a bribe?

ESPN interviewed a number of election industry experts — one reported indeed without having hesitation a further claimed there was adequate grey for it to be considered a campaign contribution alternatively of a bribe.

No surprise so a lot of individuals locate politics odious.

The two Trump and the Patriots appear devoted to the maxim, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.”

Specter died of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2012. We’ll by no means know if he would ensure what his son and previous aide are saying now. Specter, soon after leaving politics, also could have publicly referred to as Trump on his innuendo. The senator didn’t do that either.

Spokespersons for Trump and Kraft deny the allegations. But that’s really worth about as substantially as a diploma from Trump University.

Each Trump and the Patriots appear devoted to the maxim, “If you ain’t cheatin’, you ain’t tryin’.” Even soon after Spygate, the Patriots have allegedly ongoing to flout the procedures.

In January 2015, the Patriots were being accused of deflating footballs, earning it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to riddle the Indianapolis Colts with touchdown passes in the American Soccer Convention championship video game.

NFL guidelines have since been modified to reduce these alleged shenanigans.

On the other hand, the Patriots gained the Super Bowl that season. Undoubtedly, Trump cheered them on.

Had the NFL really been fascinated in obtaining to the bottom of Spygate, it would have. But Commissioner Roger Goodell required the bad publicity to go absent.

Certainly, the NFL has turn out to be proficient at producing the awkward go absent. When Trump railed versus San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for having a knee for the duration of the national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality from Blacks and systemic racism, the NFL did not oppose Trump. It blackballed Kaepernick.

Not until finally just after the murder of George Floyd final year did Goodell say “Black life matter” and that the NFL “should have listened to Kap.” He has not explained an NFL staff should sign Kap.

Plainly, the NFL wants no element of Kaepernick. His spoken truths are inconvenient. He has absent the way of Spygate — a little something football enthusiasts keep in mind but rarely explore.

Even fewer lovers look to remember Spygate II, when a Patriots crew illegally videotaped the Cincinnati Bengals’ coaching alerts in 2019. The Patriots ended up fined $1.1 million and docked a 2021 third-spherical draft decide on for that offense.

The far heftier wonderful would seem to suggest that even the NFL has grown weary of this mess.

Trump decisively misplaced his bid for a second time period as president. Considering the fact that then, he has claimed, without the need of a shred of evidence, that the election was “stolen.” Trump’s big lie led his most unhinged supporters to desecrate the U.S. Capitol in a riot that led to 5 people’s deaths on Jan. 6.

Just before being revealed the White Residence doorway, Trump attempted to bestow Belichick with the Presidential Medal of Flexibility, America’s highest civilian honor. But the 7 days right after the Capitol riot, Belichick refused it. The Hall of Fame coach has no patience for losers.

The Patriots missed the playoffs previous year whilst Brady gained his seventh Tremendous Bowl championship with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No for a longer period is Trump perceived as a winner. Neither are the Patriots. And although American politics is as odious as ever, the winds of adjust may well finally be commencing to crystal clear the air in the NFL.

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