Power play on top of power play regarding the entire Deflategate scandal that has taken over the football world.
A day after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell decided he was going to hear the appeal of a four-game suspension the league levied against New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the Players Union decided to show its hand.
In a letter announcing its appeal, the union indicated that it was going to call Goodell to the stand as a witness. Considering Goodell is overseeing the appeal, there’s an obvious conflict of interest here.
Not being one to back down, reports are now surfacing it’s “very unlikely” Goodell will recuse himself from hearing Brady’s appeal.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "very unlikely'' to recuse himself from presiding over Tom Brady appeal, per source
— Ed Werder (@WerderEdESPN) May 15, 2015
As we have mentioned numerous times in the past, this could set into motion a protracted legal battle between the league and the union. Not only will Goodell’s objectivity be called into question, there are now concerns that he can’t oversee an appeal while being considered a witness in the case.
None of this really matters to Goodell, as he’s continues to attempt a display of power we have never seen from a commissioner of a major professional sports league.
Mostly procedural, the union’s decision to call Goodell as a witness will likely set it up for an appeal to the courts should the commissioner rule against Brady. Goodell’s response is clear. He’s not going to back down in any way.
Photo: USA Today Sports