NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is currently set to hear the appeal of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady following him being suspended for four games last week for his apparent role in Deflate-gate. However, if the NFLPA has their way, someone other than Goodell will hear it.
In a statement released Tuesday by the NFLPA, they are requesting that Goodell step aside from the Brady appeal hearing.
The NFLPA has formally requested that Commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in Tom Brady’s disciplinary appeal. Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner’s role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator in this matter. The players also believe that the Commissioner’s history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.
If the NFL believes the Ted Wells report has credibility because it is independent, then the NFL should embrace our request for an independent review.
If Goodell does wind up stepping aside, who will be in charge of hearing Brady’s appeal? Some believe that retired Judge Barbara Jones might be the frontrunner being as she is the one that presided over the appeal of former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice last year. Also, former NFL employee Harold Henderson, who recently heard the appeal of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, might be another option. Henderson is also reportedly scheduled to hear the current appeal of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.
It’s important to remember that Goodell has every right to hear Brady’s appeal thanks to the players approving that in the latest CBA. The Pittsburgh Steelers, however, were the only team that voted against approving the current version of the CBA.
It will be interesting to see if Goodell steps aside. Personally, I hope he doesn’t, as I can’t wait to see the fallout from whatever his ultimate ruling might be.
How do you feel about this? Should Goodell recuse himself?