Roger Goodell issues statement, says NFL will appeal Tom Brady ruling
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has issued a statement in the wake of the NFL’s embarrassing courtroom defeat in which its four-game suspension of Tom Brady was nullified by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman. Not surprisingly, Goodell indicates the NFL will appeal the decision.
Berman in his ruling criticized Goodell for dispensing “his own brand of industrial justice,” per an AP report.
Nevertheless, the NFL will not simply roll over and accept the ruling, as indicated by Goodell’s statement, which reads (via NJ.com):
We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision. We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.
Brady likely will play the entire 2015 NFL season as the appeal could take months, if not longer, to weave its way through the legal process.
The NFLPA, meanwhile, released a statement of its own from executive director DeMaurice Smith in which it celebrated the victory while also castigating Goodell for his heavy-handed role in the Deflategate drama. The statement reads in part:
This decision should prove, once and for all, that our Collective Bargaining Agreement does not grant this Commissioner the authority to be unfair, arbitrary and misleading. While the CBA grants the person who occupies the position of Commissioner the ability to judiciously and fairly exercise the designated power of that position, the union did not agree to attempts to unfairly, illegally exercise that power, contrary to what the NFL has repeatedly and wrongfully claimed.
Expect the rhetoric and use of legalese to increase as the appeal plays itself out.