In a statement issued after Goodell’s ruling, Yee said the appeal process lacked “procedural fairness” and called it “a sham.” Yee added that “the Commissioner failed to ensure a fair process” and said “the science in the Wells Report was junk.”
Goodell explained that he was upholding the suspension because Brady interfered with the NFL’s investigation by destroying his cell phone. Brady had sent some 10,000 text messages in the four months before his meeting with NFL investigator Ted Wells but those messages could not be retrieved after the phone was destroyed. Brady testified at his appeal hearing that he usually destroys his cell phone when he gets a new one.
The NFL requested in May on Brady’s behalf that Goodell recuse himself from the appeal hearing. Goodell declined that request, citing language in the 2011 collective bargain agreement that allows the commissioner to decide appeals of the punishments he has handed down.
- Dan Gartland