Tom Brady is going to fight. The NFL Players Association announced Thursday that it will file an appeal on behalf of the New England Patriots quarterback. Brady was suspended four games by the league for his role in the “Deflategate” scandal, an action that will cost the four-time Super Bowl champion around $2 million in salary.
"Given the NFL's history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal," said a statement released by the NFLPA. "If Ted Wells and the NFL believe, as their public comments stated, that the evidence in their report is ‘direct’ and ‘inculpatory,’ then they should be confident enough to present their case before someone who is truly independent."
Attorney Daniel L. Goldberg, who leads a legal team employed by the Patriots, released a response to the suspension earlier in the day, heaping harsh criticism on the league for ignoring “inconsistencies in logic and evidence.”
"The conclusions of the Wells Report are, at best, incomplete, incorrect and lack context," Goldberg wrote at the beginning of a 20,000 word rebuttal to the findings, which was released to the public at WellsReportContext.com.
"Texts acknowledged to be attempts at humor and exaggeration are nevertheless interpreted as a plot to improperly deflate footballs, even though none of them refer to any such plot,” the post goes on to state. “There is no evidence that Tom Brady preferred footballs that were lower than 12.5 psi and no evidence anyone even thought that he did. ... Inconsistencies in logic and evidence are ignored."
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, had previously challenged the credibility of the Wells report, calling it “an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic.”
“The discipline is ridiculous and has no legitimate basis. In my opinion, this outcome was pre-determined; there was no fairness in the Wells investigation whatsoever,” said Yee. “There is no evidence that Tom directed footballs be set at pressures below the allowable limit ... We will appeal, and if the hearing officer is completely independent and neutral, I am very confident the Wells Report will be exposed as an incredibly frail exercise in fact-finding and logic.”