Tom Brady to Sue NFL Over Deflategate Suspension
Tom Brady is considering taking his fight with the NFL over his four-game suspension to court if he does not get his way.
According to multiple reports, the Greatest Quarterback of All Time is looking to sue the NFL over Ballghazi with the help of the NFL players union in either Minnesota, a state known for ruling in favor of players, or Massachusetts where he is treated like a god.
The threat of a lawsuit could be merely a pressure tactic by Brady and his allies in the fight, but it’s a smart and serious one. As weak as the players union (NFLPA) is, it has a high success rate in recent legal battles with the league over disciplinary issues.
ESPN reports that the NFLPA will approach the lawsuit along the following lines:
• The ball-deflation policy was incorrectly applied to Brady, as the rules were meant for club personnel and not players.
• Against the “general awareness” standard used by Ted Wells’ investigators to determine Brady’s involvement.
• If it is determined the ball deflation policy did apply to Brady, the league failed to give him notice of the penalty, in essence making up the punishment with precedent.
• The NFL doesn’t have proper techniques and standards for measuring deflation of footballs.
• Goodell should have recused himself as the arbitrator for Brady’s appeal hearing.
As long as legal action is pending in court, too, Brady would be allowed to play at the start of the season instead of waiting until Week 5 to suit up.
The general consensus in the Hot Sportsakesphere is that Brady’s suspension will be lowered to two games from four and the additional penalties (loss of two draft picks and $1 million fine) will remain in place.
If such a suit goes forward, it will not be Brady’s first foray into legal action with the union at his side. In 2011, he was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the NFL during the 2011 lockout. The case was known as Brady v. NFL.
Earlier this week, there was rampant speculation that a ruling on Tom Brady’s appeal of his four-game suspension would come down during the MLB All-Star break, but nothing materialized. It is unknown when Goodell will rule, but it is expected relatively soon.
Brady was suspended for four games in May when the NFL found it was “more probable than not” that he was “at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities” around the handling of balls before 2015 AFC Championship Game.