New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady now has enough Super Bowl rings to cover every finger of one hand. But he did not show off his middle digit to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
An image circulated online in the wake of the Patriots’ NFL championship game win on 5 February 2017 depicts Brady holding the Super Bowl MVP trophy alongside Goodell, with the quarterback’s middle finger extended in such a way that he is seemingly “flipping the bird” in plain sight to an unaware Goodell.
In reality, the footage of the actual trophy presentation shows Brady standing alongside Goodell with two fingers extended, as seen below:
Patriots fans have reportedly held a grudge against Goodell since the league launched an investigation in January 2015 into rumors that the team had used under-inflated balls during their AFC championship game victory that year against the Indianapolis Colts, a controversy that was quickly dubbed “Deflategate.”
The league imposed a four-game suspension on Brady in May 2015, a decision Goodell upheld on 28 July 2015, prompting a lawsuit on the quarterback’s behalf by the NFL Players Association.
On 15 July 2016, two days after the appeals court denied his request for another hearing, Brady announced on his Facebook page that he would serve his suspension for the first four games of the 2016 season.