In the least surprising news of the year, the NFLPA announced on Thursday that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is appealing the four-game suspension that was levied against him by the NFL stemming from his alleged role in Deflategate.
“Given the NFL’s history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal,” the union’s statement reads. “If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is ‘direct’ and ‘inculpatory,’ then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent.”
Considering Brady’s agent has been ratcheting up the rhetoric since the NFL announced his client’s suspension on Monday, this can’t be considered terribly surprising.
The statement called for a third-party arbitrator to oversee the appeal, which has to be heard within 10 days. However, it’s highly likely that Roger Goodell and company will choose from a pool of candidates that have overseen appeals in the past, former NFL executive Harold Henderson included.
The fight might not end at the appeals hearing. Brady and the NFLPA brought on world-renowned lawyer Jeffrey Kessler to be part of his legal team, which is an indication that a legal battle could be forthcoming if the appeal doesn’t go the quarterback’s way.
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