Is cheating in the NFL only an issue when the Patriots are caught doing it? Hypocritical comments from Jerry Rice indicate there could be a double-standard when the Patriots are involved in a controversy.
Rice, who is considered the greatest wide receiver of all time and possibly the greatest football player of all time, recently admitted to cheating by using illegal stickum.
Rice appeared in a video published Jan. 17 on ESPN about “The Evolution of Gloves” in football. In one clip shown in the video, Rice says he used stickum.
“I know this might be a little illegal, guys, but you put a little spray, a little stickum on them, to make sure that texture is a little sticky,” Rice said with a laugh about how he used the substance when playing.
Stickum was banned by the NFL in 1981.
Three days after the video was published on ESPN, Rice tweeted this about the “Deflategate” controversy:
11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying
— Jerry Rice (@JerryRice) January 21, 2015
Rice also said this in an interview with Jim Rome.
“I’m going to be point blank, I feel like it’s cheating,” Rice told Rome on January 22 regarding the controversy. “Because you have an edge up on your opponent and its unfortunate that it happened. I’m not saying the outcome of the game would have been different or anything like that because they got beat 45-7, but they still had an edge.”
So what makes (allegedly intentionally) deflating footballs to gain an edge when it comes to gripping the ball any different from applying illegal stickum to also gain an edge with gripping the ball? The two situations sound pretty similar, and the difference is the Patriots deny doing it intentionally, while Rice admitted to cheating. His comments are just as hypocritical as this guy’s, because his team was caught using steroids, which is worse than potentially intentionally deflating footballs.