Thursday, September 03, 2015
NFL appeals Tom Brady decision
"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," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard Berman nullified the NFL's four-game suspension against Brady. The NFL maintains that Brady played a major role concerning the use of deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game this past season.
The NFL Players Association, which aided in Brady's defense, released a statement on Thursday morning.
"The rights of Tom Brady and of all NFL players under the collective bargaining agreement were affirmed today by a Federal Judge in a court of the NFL's choosing. We thank Judge Berman for his time, careful consideration of the issue and fair and just result.
"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.
"We are happy for the victory of the rule of law for our players and our fans. This court's decision to overturn the NFL Commissioner again should signal to every NFL owner that collective bargaining is better than legal losses. Collective bargaining is a much better process that will lead to far better results."
"As I have said during this process and throughout his Patriots career, Tom Brady is a classy person of the highest integrity. He represents everything that is great about this game and this league.
"Yet, with absolutely no evidence of any actions of wrongdoing by Tom in the Wells report, the lawyers at the league still insisted on imposing and defending unwarranted and unprecedented discipline. Judge Richard Berman understood this and we are greatly appreciative of his thoughtful decision that was delivered today.
"Now, we can return our focus to the game on the field," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in a statement.