While appearing on the premiere episode of former ESPN sports analyst Bill Simmons‘ new HBO show Any Given Wednesday, the 43-year-old actor went on an epic expletive-ridden rant, defending New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and slamming the “Deflategate” controversy.
“‘Deflategate’ is the ultimate b——- f—— outrage of sports,” Affleck began. “It’s so f—— stupid.”
“This is a conspiracy of people working inside the NFL who all come from organizations that Tom Brady whipped their a— over the last 10 or 15 years,” he said. “These are guys who work for the f—— Jets, Broncos… who are now going, ‘Get him! Hang him!’ because they now have some slight, flimsy f—— pretense.”
“I talked f—— pro football players – across the board they think it’s b——-,” he added.
And despite speculation Affleck was tipsy during the rant, Simmons took to Twitter soon after the episode aired to clarify that the star was just really, really passionate.
Affleck also Tweeted in defense of his rant, but admitted that he “probably” could have used a few less swear words:
The “Deflategate” controversy started when the Indianapolis Colts accused the New England Patriots of using underinflated footballs during the 2015 AFC championship game. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down the initial four-game suspension for Brady’s part in allegedly deflating the balls.
In September, a judge overturned the suspension, saying that the NFL’s disciplinary action was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies.”
But an April panel decision affirmed Roger Goodell’s power to hand down Brady’s punishment under the collective bargaining agreement, reinstating the QB’s suspension.
Brady has long held that he played no role in an alleged conspiracy to deflate footballs. He is currently appealing the suspension, arguing a rehearing on the basis that the reinstatement conflicts with Supreme Court decisions and other appeals courts decisions.
If the suspension holds, Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season and will make his season-debut against the Cleveland Browns in October.
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“We haven’t done anything to address this crisis of domestic violence in the NFL,” Affleck told Simmons, “But the f—— football better not be eight percent lighter. And if we find out it is, you’re gone for four games!”
Affleck went on to call the controversy “a f—— ridiculous smear campaign,” saying that Goodell “doesn’t have the integrity to say ‘This is stupid – I was wrong.’ ”
“We’re running our greatest player ever through this mill of humiliation and shame which is totally unwarranted for the sake of our own bruised egos, our embarrassment and to paper over our mismanagement,” he suggested Goodell admit.
“If the NFL really knew how to test for steroids, there’d be no f—— NFL,” he said.
Of course, Affleck was in a safe space for his rant. Simmons is a Massachusetts native as well, and rose to fame while running his website, The Boston Sports Guy.
The Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice actor also commented on the role of Brady’s destroyed cell phone – which Goodell said was evidence that the football star “sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs.”
“You want to give a guy, because he doesn’t you his cell phone, a punishment?” Affleck questioned. “I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my f—— cell phone so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?”
“They’re not the FBI. This isn’t federal subpoena. They’re not required to turn over their bank records,” he continued.
Any Given Wednesday airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.