slides: 5 Things to Know About Tom Brady’s Deflategate Appeal
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
"What most people do not understand about Tom Brady’s war with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell over Deflategate is that the rules of engagement are governed almost exclusively by the NFL Collective Bargaining Agreement, which sets forth very specific procedures that the players, the players association (NFLPA), the clubs and the league must follow in resolving disputes," said GoLocalProv contributor AiVi Nguyen.
With a lot riding on this appeal, GoLocalProv points out five things to know about the Brady appeal.
See The Five Things to Know About the Brady Appeal Slideshow Below.
Related Slideshow: 5 Things to Know About Tom Brady’s Appeal
Here are 5 things to know about Tom Brady's Appeal.
Tom Brady was suspended for four games by the NFL on May 11 for his role in deflating footballs.
According to the Wells Report, "It is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities."
Tom Brady has yet to make a public comment on the report, except at a speaking engagement at Salem State, where he claimed to "have no reaction" to the report.
However, his agent, Don Yee, came out very strongly once the suspension was handed down.
“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever. There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limits," said Yee in a statement.
As it stands now (pre appeal result), Brady's first game back would be against the Indianapolis Colts in mid-October.
Shortly after the suspension was handed down, Tom Brady hired attorney Jeffery Kessler to represent him at hs appeal hearing.
Kessler has a histroy of winning big cases against the NFL, most recently a case in which Adrian Peterson was accused in May of 2014 for beating his son with a branch of a tree.
The case went to federal court and Peterson's suspension was vacated. He was reinstated on April 15, 2015.
Kessler has also represented player associations in all major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) and individual athletes in the NFL, NBA, AFL and MLS.
Goodell the Arbitrator
In mid-May, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed himself as the arbitrator in the hearing, despite the NFLPA demanding that an independent arbitrator be hired in a letter to the league.
Excerpt From Letter
This letter will serve as a formal demand that the Commissioner follow the Rice precedent and appoint an independent person to serve as arbitrator over Mr. Brady’s appeal. If the Commissioner does not appoint such a neutral arbitrator, the NFLPA and Mr. Brady will seek recusal and pursue all available relief to obtain an arbitrator who is not evidently partial.
Despite the NFLPA asking Goodell to recuse himself on a few other occasions, Goodell has refused to do so saying "I look forward to hearing directly from Tom if there is new information or there is information that can be helpful to us in getting this right."
Ted Wells at the Appeal
On Monday, June 22, it was reported that Ted Wells will be at Brady's appeal hearing and will likely testify.
Since the release of the report, Ted Wells has come under criticism from all angles, including a Wells Report Rebuttal, released by the Patriots, and has gone on a conference call with media members to defend his report.
“It is wrong to criticize my independence, just because you disagree with my findings," Wells said on the call.
With Jeffery Kessler doing the questioning, Wells will have to defend his report again.
If Brady wins/ loses
The NFL and NFLPA have left Thursday, June 25 open in case the hearing needs a second day, however, many reports indicate the hearing won't last longer than two days.
“If he is successful in his appeal, it ends there. If Tom isn't successful in the appeal, his only option is to sue in court,” said Attorney and GoLocalProv contributor AiVi Nguyen.
“The collective bargaining agreement is supposed to be the ONLY tool that the league uses to solve problems. Like it's meant to keep the courts out of it.
So if Brady sues in court, one of his arguments must be that Goodell either violated the CBA so it doesn't apply or that Goodell didn't fairly apply the CBA to Brady as compared to others,” Nguyen added.
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