NFLPA: Goodell's ruling on Brady appeal was 'a smear campaign'
By Doug Kyed
The NFL and NFL Players Association each filed motions Friday, as instructed by District Court Judge Richard Berman, and it appears the two sides aren’t any closer to reaching a settlement on Tom Brady’s suspension appeal.
The NFL and NFLPA repeat arguments used in past motions, but the unionalso points out Goodell was an “evidently partial arbitrator” based on the letter attached to his decision to uphold Brady’s four-game suspension.
The NFLPA highlights Goodell’s mischaracterization of Brady’s testimony from the appeal, thinking the transcript would never be released:
“Although no more than objective partiality is required to disqualify Goodell (NFLPA Mot. 14-15), the Award in fact evidences his actual bias. It is more smear campaign than reasoned decision — a propaganda piece written for public consumption, at a time when the NFL believed the transcript would be sealed from public view, to validate a multi-million-dollar “independent” investigation. For example:
— Goodell leads the Award with a “gotcha!” discussion about Brady purportedly destroying his phone, never acknowledging that Brady had turned over all of his emails and all of his phone bills (which demonstrated that Wells already had all relevant text communications from other sources) or mentioning that it was Brady’s career-long practice to recycle his phones because of Brady’s privacy concerns.
— Goodell found that Brady’s increased communications with Jastremski after the AFC Championship game “undermine[d] any suggestion that the communications addressed only preparation of footballs for the Super Bowl rather than the tampering allegations” (Award 9) when Brady actually testified—at length—that he did discuss the tampering allegations with Jastremski because he was concerned they were causing Jastremski considerable stress and he wanted to know what had happened.
— Goodell wrote that the NFLPA’s expert, Dean Snyder, “performed no independent analysis or experiments” (Award 6) when Snyder testified for two hours about the statistical, regression, and other analyses that his team conducted (Hr’g Tr. 150-227).
— Goodell wrote in the Award (at 8) that Brady testified “that the Patriots’ equipment personnel would not do anything to game balls that was inconsistent with what he wanted” when Brady actually testified that this is why he “do[es]n’t think anyone would tamper with the ball” (Hr’g Tr. 147:21-22).
— Goodell radically changed Wells’ finding of “general awareness” of purported ball deflation by others into a conspiratorial “scheme” when the hearing record contains not a shred of evidence about any such “scheme” that Goodell could cite.”
That’s strong language from the NFLPA, and it shows they’re not backing down as Berman urges a settlement.
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