White House press secretary Josh Earnest weighed in on the suspension of quarterback Tom Brady, saying the New England Patriot should be mindful of "how he serves as a role model."
The National Football League on Monday announced a four-game suspension for Brady, pointing to an investigation commissioned by the league that suggested the quarterback was "generally aware" of the deflation of footballs in this year's AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The investigation highlighted text messages exchanged by Patriots staffers that alluded to deflating the footballs to meet Brady's demands.
Earnest on Tuesday said he had not spoken with President Obama about the punishment or Brady's decision to skip an event at the White House last month honoring the Super Bowl champions.
Obama poked fun at the Patriots when they visited the White House.
"I usually tell a bunch of jokes at these events," Obama said at the White House, joined by the Super-Bowl-winning squad. "But with the Patriots in town, I was worried that 11 out of 12 of them would fall flat."
Brady plans to appeal his suspension.