07/23/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
NFL fans, especially those of the New England Patriots, are waiting anxiously to hear the outcome of Tom Brady's appeal of the four game suspension the NFL handed down as punishment for the quarterbacks involvement in Deflate Gate.
Brady appealed the suspension in June. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed himself the arbitrator of the Brady's case. The NFLPA requested Goodell step down as arbitrator. Goodell refused. Now the case could be going to federal court. Yes, really, federal court.
It seems the NFLPA has already started working on a case to be heard by a federal judge if Goodell upholds the 4 game suspension. And of course the NFLPA plans to file the case in either Massachusetts or Minnesota. The reason for choosing Massachusetts is pretty obvious. The reason for choosing Minnesota? Because of it's labor friendly rulings including ruling in favor of Adrian Peterson after he was suspended indefinitely last year. With that being said, Goodell had based Brady's punishment on him being uncooperative with the NFL's investigation into Deflate Gate. Now the commish is saying that new information from Brady could result in a different decision.
So there is now a real chance that Brady's suspension may be either partially or fully revoked. And if it's not completely revoked, the NFLPA will be taking the matter to federal court. This comes after Greg Hardy's 10 game domestic violence suspension being reduced to 4 games. If Brady's suspension is either reduced or all together overturned by Goodell, how does that make him look? It makes him look like a man with no backbone who's power appears to be pretty weak when it comes to discipline in the face of the NFLPA. Especially with the Peterson and Hardy court rulings, and another federal ruling that reinstated Ray Rice. It would show the players union is stronger than the league when it comes to players being punished for disciplinary reasons, and that the NFL may need to take a really hard look at how they go about dishing out punishments since the commissioners rulings and his work as an arbitrator can easily be defeated.
There's also talk that the NFLPA's federal case is just a ploy to work on getting Brady's punishment lifted. There is talk the union and the league office have been negotiating behind closed doors and the most likely outcome will be a reduction of the suspension.
The last question remaining though is, why is this taking so long? Brady filed his appeal a month ago, why hasn't the league reached a decision yet? Is Goodell afraid to admit he was wrong in the way he went about handling Brady's case and his refusal to step down as arbitrator? Is the commissioner trying to work out a closed door deal with the NFLPA so at least with a partial suspension he still looks like he has some clout? Or will Goodell end up reversing the suspension all together?
If the last question ends up being the outcome, the NFL and Roger Goodell are going to look ridiculous while the NFLPA triumphs again. Just like it did in the cases of Hardy, Peterson, and Rice. And the fact the NFL can't discipline cheaters and woman beaters because it isn't stronger than it's own players union is just the same. Ridiculous.
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