The NFL Players Association has requested that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell recuse himself as the arbitrator in Tom Brady's appeal.
Brady is appealing a four-game suspension handed down by the NFL for his role in Deflategate. The punishment came as a direct result of a report from attorney Ted Wells that suggested it is probable that Brady "was at least generally aware of... the release of air from Patriots game balls."
The NFLPA calls for Goodell to designate a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator in the appeal. The union says that the players feel "the commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner."
In hearing the case, Goodell will exercise his right under the league's 2011 collective bargaining agreement to hear Brady's case instead of either an independent or NFL-affiliated arbitrator.
On Tuesday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told reporters he will not appeal the punishment handed down by the league and will "accept, reluctantly, what [Goodell] has given us."
In addition to Brady's suspension, the Patriots were fined $1 million and lost both their 2016 first-round draft pick and their 2017 fourth-round pick.
- Molly Geary