Deflate-Gate has kept the sports world rapt for the past couple of days and things have heated up a little more since head coach, Bill Belichick, and quarterback, Tom Brady held press conferences. My main focus was on Brady; the sheer ridiculousness of a listening to man talk about how he likes his balls was too good to pass up. But between all the ball talk, I heard something else: dishonesty. When asked if he felt comfortable within himself that nobody on Sunday, on the Patriots side, did anything wrong, his reply was, ‘I have no knowledge of anything.’ The correct answer was yes or no. Anything else is from the devil (see Matthew 5:37). When asked if he was a cheater, he replied, ‘I don’t believe so.’ Wrong again! The correct answer is yes or no. Liars typically get wordy to circumvent the truth; when dishonesty is at play, people trying to protect themselves, start playing semantics, giving detail where none is asked for (see: Brady’s discussion of balls process). Brady’s language reveals that he probably knew about the deflated balls (which is why he doesn’t definitively says he’s not a cheater), but likely didn’t do it himself (which is why he can say I don’t know everything); more an accessory, less an accomplice. Check a couple of notorious examples:
1) ‘I have no idea what you’re asking about. I’ve responded, consistently, to these tabloid allegations by saying I don’t respond to these lies and you know that … and I stand by that.” – John Kerry after being asked about allegations that he cheated on his wife and fathered a child with his mistress. (Red flag: contradicts himself. No idea what’s being asked about, but he’s responded consistently to it? Signals disjointed thinking which is typical of someone who has to piece a story together to cover their tracks.)
2) “Look, this was a prank that I now having been talking about for a couple of days and I’m not going to let it decide what I talk about for the next week or the next two weeks. – Anthony Weiner after being asked why he didn’t seek help from law enforcement after alleging that his Twitter account was hacked. (Red flag: avoidance, defensiveness & rambling. He doesn’t answer the question. Honest people don’t mind answering questions directly. If you watch the video, he gets defensive quickly, electing to answer another question with a metaphor. )
And my personal favorite, ‘I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.’ (Red flag: semantics. Normal people don’t say sexual relations. They say a lot of things, but that ain’t one of them.)
The sad part is, watching Brady and Belichick, unlike the politicians above, their body language suggests something else: shame.