BOSTON (CBS) — Tom Brady is taking on the NFL.
Brady has officially filed an appeal over his four-game suspension, handed down by the league on Monday for his role in the Deflategate controversy and for being uncooperative during Ted Wells’ investigation of the matter.
The NFL Players Association released the following statement Thursday afternoon:
The NFLPA has filed an appeal of the four-game suspension of Tom Brady handed down by Troy Vincent.
Given the NFL’s history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal.
If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is “direct” and “inculpatory,” then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent.
To prepare for his battle with the league, Brady has reportedly hired long-time NFL nemesis Jeffrey Kessler to be part of his legal team. In addition to an appeal, Brady’s camp could pursue a lawsuit against the NFL.
While Brady has yet to respond to his suspension, his agent, Don Yee, has come out firing. Yee has gone after both the Wells Report, saying it wasn’t “truly independent,” and the league’s punishment, calling Brady’s suspension “ridiculous.”
The Patriots responded to the report on Thursday, releasing a lengthy “context report” that refuted many of Wells’ findings.
The league has 10 days to hear the appeal. It will likely be heard by commissioner Roger Goodell or Harold Henderson, a former labor executive for the NFL.
Henderson heard Adrian Peterson’s appeal last season, and was recently appointed to hear Greg Hardy’s appeal, which is reportedly scheduled for May 28. Hardy was suspended by the NFL for 10 games in April for assaulting and threatening his former girlfriend in May of 2014.