Tom Brady is appealing a four-game suspension handed down by the NFL, a move that’s well within his rights according to the collective bargaining agreement. But what, exactly, is he trying to accomplish?
Brady could have his punishment reduced, which would keep more money in his pocket and allow him back on the field sooner than expected. However, he would still be convicted of wrongdoing in DeflateGate.
It’s not as if a two-game suspension would clear his name.
Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t suspend Brady. He left the dirty work to underling Troy Vincent. You can safely assume that Vincent turned to his boss for advice on this matter, and that’s assuming he wasn’t following direct orders.
So who presides over the appeal process? That would be Goodell, who according to the CBA has jurisdiction in such matters. He’s not likely to budge, in part because Brady refused to turn over his cell phone to league investigators.
Is that fair? Good heavens, no.
Let me remind you that the NFL is not a democracy. The laws of the land do not apply to the league. It’s a dictatorship that operates under the rule of one man, Goodell, no matter how it’s disguised. An independent arbiter is not required.
Brady could take his case to court. It would force the league to explain its own investigation and possibly expose flaws in the inquiry. However, it also would mean Brady would likely need to turn over cell phone records. He also would run the risk of losing the case, thereby confirming he played a role in the whole thing.
At this point, the smart play for Brady would be appealing the decision and accepting the final ruling. By all appearances, this is one game he can’t win. If he’s looking for justice, he came to the wrong place.