NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will not recuse himself from Tom Brady's appeal hearing, he said in a letter sent to the NFL players' union Tuesday.
The union had requested last month that Goodell recuse himself from the proceedings.
“Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the Commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the Commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator in this matter,” the union said in a statement. “The players also believe that the Commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.”
ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on May 22 that Goodell had decided not to recuse himself. The collective bargaining agreement negotiated in 2011 allows the commissioner to decide appeals of the punishments he has handed down.
“Based on the unambiguous language and structure of the CBA, as well as common sense, I conclude that none of the arguments advanced by the NFLPA has merit,” Goodell wrote in his letter.
Brady's appeal will be heard on June 23.
- Dan Gartland