Why The 'Deflategate' Ruling Could Finally Limit Roger Goodell's Power
It's still too early to judge the aftermath of the Brady case, especially with the NFL planning to appeal. But the combined effects of repeated defeats could force Goodell to be “much more careful in the process of determining discipline,” said Tom Dewey, a litigator and arbitration law expert at New York’s Dewey Pegno & Kramarsky.
A federal judge delivered a strong rebuke to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Thursday when he vacated the four-game suspension issued to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for Brady’s alleged role in the “Deflategate” scandal.
Judge Richard Berman ruled that Brady’s suspension was "premised on several legal deficiencies" that did not adhere to the league’s collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, with its players. Notably, Berman found, the NFL did not provide sufficient notice to Brady that he could be suspended for being "generally aware" of another person's supposed misconduct. The judge also found that Goodell, in his role as “independent” arbitrator when Brady initially appealed the decision, failed to provide the quarterback with a fair hearing.For Goodell, Berman’s decision amounts to another loss in a major case involving player discipline.