Tom Brady and the NFLPA will appeal the reinstatement of his four-game suspension, his attorneys announced on Monday on ABC.
“The facts here are so drastic and so apparent that the court should rehear it,” NFLPA attorney Ted Olson said on Good Morning America.
The NFLPA will file a petition that the appeal be heard “en banc” before the entire panel of 13 Second Circuit judges. If the en banc session is not granted, Brady could appeal to the Supreme Court. Rehearing the appeal would delay the enforcement of Brady’s suspension, potentially allowing him to start for the Patriots in Week 1 of the 2016 season.
“This Union has always stood for protecting the rights of our members,” NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said. “Our filing of this appeal today on behalf of Tom Brady and all NFL players is no different. He was not afforded fundamental fairness and due process as guaranteed by the collective bargaining agreement and case law. We also know that the NFL propped up a now completely de-bunked ‘independent’ report with a made-up standard as the basis for his suspension. For sixty years we have affirmed the right to seek redress for our members and we will always hold the NFL accountable.”
Brady’s suspension for his role in the Deflategate scandal was originally overturned last September, which allowed Brady to play in the entire 2015 season. The NFL appealed that ruling, and the suspension was reinstated in April.
“The divided panel of the Second Circuit reached erroneous legal conclusions under an unfair and unjust standard,” said former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson. “The decision and the standards it imposes are damaging and unfair – not only to Tom Brady – but to all parties to collective bargaining agreements everywhere. Commissioner Goodell cannot sit as an appellate arbitrator and then affirm the league’s initial disciplinary decision based upon a new theory and imagined evidence and pretend to be an unbiased decision-maker.”
The Patriots season is scheduled to begin on Sept. 11 against the Arizona Cardinals. Quarterback Jimmy Garrappolo would start in Brady’s place if his suspension stands.