Lions' Tate: If guilty, Brady deserves his punishment

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News
Golden Tate watches the action at his football camp on Thursday at Rochester Adams.

Rochester Hills — Lions wide receiver Golden Tate admitted he hasn't studied every detail related to Tom Brady allegedly requesting deflated footballs in the AFC Championship game. But if Brady is guilty, Tate thinks he should face severe punishment.

"I think if you violate the integrity of this game, you must be punished," Tate said Thursday at his football camp at Rochester Adams. "We're always trying to gain more fans, nationally and internationally, and when you threaten the integrity of the sport, you're threatening the integrity of the people inside it also."

Brady, the former Michigan quarterback who has won four Super Bowls with the New England Patriots, received a four-game suspension from the NFL for his role in having the footballs deflated below the league's limit. The league announced this week that Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the suspension, leading the NFL Players Association to sue the league.

In the months since the air pressure story was first reported and recently after the appeal decision, speculation over Brady's level of guilt has raged on social media, with many people thinking such an infraction isn't worthy of a suspension.

The Lions lost to the Patriots, 34-9, last year, and Tate said Thursday he didn't suspect anything nefarious from New England. However, if Brady did cheat in the AFC title game, Tate thinks he deserves to be suspended.

"If it's legit, and he actually did have something to do with it, then he deserves every bit of that punishment," he said. "And if he didn't have anything to do with it, then they need to look into it more and be more factual. But that's not for me to really dip in, and I hope it works out for the best for both parties and I hope justice is served."