|Roger Goodell reaffirms NFL’s role in concussion research||05.26.16 at 6:37 pm ET|
On Thursday, ESPN’s Adam Schefter obtained a letter Roger Goodell sent to the owners and presidents of the NFL’s 32 teams where he emphasized the league’s commitment to the treatment of head injuries and independent medical research.
Following is the complete letter:
As discussed during our recent meeting, the NFL has a unique responsibility and opportunity to drive change and advance progress in the prevention and treatment of head injuries. That is our unwavering commitment to our players, former players, athletes at all levels, and society more broadly.
At the core of that commitment is your continued and robust support of independent medical research, including the $30 million contribution to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for scientific research on concussion and head injury. I want to reaffirm in the strongest possible terms my comments to you during the league meeting and my public statements this week reaffirming the NFL’s commitment to the NIH of the $30 million in grant funding we pledged to accelerate scientific understanding of concussion and head injury. There was no consideration given to anything other than honoring that commitment in its entirety.
|5 takeaways from Patriots’ amicus brief supporting Tom Brady, NFLPA against NFL||05.25.16 at 4:03 pm ET|
On Wednesday, the Patriots filed an amicus brief supporting the NFLPA in their case against the NFL pertaining to Deflategate in the Second Circuit. The purpose of the brief is to encourage the Second Circuit to rehear the case.
Here are a few takeaways from the brief:
1. The brief, written by Patriots attorney Daniel Goldberg who is behind the Wells Report in Context, noted the impact the ruling has on the team. “Under the existing 2-1 decision, the Patriots stand to lose their All-Pro quarterback for 25% of the upcoming regular season based on a severely flawed process,” Goldberg wrote. “But the impact of the majority opinion is not limited to professional football. It threatens to undermine vital principles governing arbitration of collective bargaining agreements throughout the national economy.”
2. It also attacked commissioner Roger Goodell saying he treated Brady’s appeal “not as an appeal but as a continuation of the investigation.” Goldberg wrote: “The Commissioner made new findings and shifted the basis for his discipline of Mr. Brady in a decision from which Mr. Brady then had no appeal rights.” It also noted Paul Weiss didn’t allow Brady to see the notes of its interviews with NFL officials who observed the halftime testing of footballs in the 2014 AFC title game.
3. Goldberg went on to attack the Wells Report. “In short, the Commissioner relied on the Wells Report,” he wrote. “The Wells Report relied on Exponent’s ‘conclusion’ that science did not explain the PSI of the Patriots footballs. Exponent based that conclusion on assumptions from Paul Weiss. Those assumptions could only be tested by having access to the interview notes sought in discovery. The Commissioner refused to allow that discovery.”
|Roger Goodell: ‘Really not focused’ on Tom Brady petition||05.24.16 at 7:51 pm ET|
Roger Goodell said at the NFL owners meetings Tuesday that he was “really not focused” on Tom Brady’s recent petition for a rehearing regarding his four-game suspension.
Asked about the recent decision of Brady’s legal team to appeal the ban, Goodell said he understood the decision made by the NFLPA, but that’s not where his attention is right now.
“I respect the NFLPA’s ability to appeal if they choose to do that,” Goodell said. “They did. That’s a matter for the lawyers. We’ll see how things progress. But I’m really not focused on that at all.”
For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.
|NFLPA’s DeMaurice Smith: NFL penalizing Tom Brady for being generally aware ‘borders on intellectual hypocrisy’||05.23.16 at 1:11 pm ET|
On the day the NFLPA and Tom Brady will once again appeal the quarterback’s four-game suspension, the NFLPA continues to attack commissioner Roger Goodell and the case.
Appearing on The Dan Patrick Show, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith blasted Goodell and said the NFLPA would do the same for any player, not just Brady.
“You know on this side that it is never just about the player,” Smith said. “Every player is going to be subject to a rule where a commissioner is upholding discipline based on his belief that a player was generally aware of someone else’s conduct.
“Have you ever heard of anything like that before? It’s unbelievable. It borders on intellectual hypocrisy. It’s Tom Brady today, but if your employer wanted to fire you and you ask why and the employer said I believe you were generally aware of somebody else’s conduct, you wouldn’t say that is a Tom Brady issue, you would say that is a player issue.”
Smith once again laid out the case against Goodell and the league, saying the commissioner acted unfairly.
On Monday afternoon, Tom Brady and the NFLPA will file a petition that will request the case be reheard before the entire Second Circuit court bench.
While the official appeal will not be released until later Monday afternoon, a draft of the en banc petition has been obtained by The White Bronco.
Here are a few highlights of what Brady and his team are saying.
— The petition continues to say Brady’s four-game suspension is “severe and unprecedented.”
— It acknowledges Roger Goodell had the authority to hear the appeal because he’s commissioner, they say Goodell punishment was based on different grounds that weren’t the basis for his original decision.
— It says a rehearing is warranted because the panel opinion conflicts in two respects with the decisions of the Supreme Court and other courts of appeals. The first conflict relates to Goodell acting within his authority to uphold the suspension. It says “an arbitrator’s authority depends on an affirmative grant of authority by the parties not, as the panel majority held, the agreement’s ‘silence’ or an absence of express limits on the arbitrator’s power.”
It adds, “Chief Judge Katzmann had it exactly right when he explained that when the Commissioner ‘changes the factual basis for the disciplinary action after the appeal hearing concludes.'”
— Secondly, the petition brings the case back to it being an equipment violation and Goodell “completely ignored” the penalties in the CBA as it relates to equipment violations. The petition continues to question why Goodell imposed four games for such a minor violation.
— It also goes into how this case impacts more than just Brady. It states this “will harm not just NFL players, but all unionized workers who have bargained for appeal rights as a protection not as an opportunity for management to salvage a deficient disciplinary action by conjuring up new grounds for the punishment.”
— It concludes with: The panel decision stands in stark conflict with fundamental rules of labor law and undermines the rights of union members and employers alike. This Court should grant rehearing.
Here is the full draft filing:
|Roger Goodell has spoken to Robert, Jonathan Kraft since Monday’s Deflategate ruling||04.28.16 at 10:58 am ET|
It appears Robert and Jonathan Kraft have put Monday’s court ruling reinstating Tom Brady’s four-game suspension behind them — at least according to Roger Goodell.
On CBS This Morning, Goodell said he has spoken to both Robert and Jonathan Kraft since Monday’s ruling and they are “moving forward” focusing on league matters.
“Yes, I have,” Goodell said. “I’ve spoken to Robert Kraft, Jonathan Kraft on several occasions on several different matters. Yes, we are moving forward. We have a lot to do. There are a lot of challenges, a lot of positive things and a lot of things we want to accomplish.”
At least in Goodell’s mind, the Deflategate matter is over.
“This is a decision we reached last summer,” he said. “It was the right decision according to the court of appeals. This is the end of the matter. We’re moving forward and focusing on the draft bringing all these prospects into the league tonight and over the weekend.”
Goodell also responded to Drew Brees’ claim earlier this week that he doesn’t trust any NFL-led investigation.
“It’s very simple. In this case we had an independent council look at this case,” Goodell said. “They went through all the facts. We did not participate directly in that. We cooperated, of course. We looked for cooperation from the team and the other individuals. We got some of that. There was an independent investigation on this and an independent report that was presented to me. That is what we based the judgement on and then we had a hearing. We had a process that is articulated in our collective bargaining agreement that has been there for several decades.”
|Roger Goodell on if he would consider reducing Tom Brady’s suspension: ‘We have given that full consideration’||04.27.16 at 5:59 pm ET|
On Monday, the Second Circuit of Appeals court reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension for his role in Deflategate. Since Monday it has been reported the Patriots have more support across the league than ever, some saying they have been railroaded.
Commissioner Roger Goodell went on ‘The Herd’ with Colin Cowherd Wednesday and was asked if he would ever consider reducing the suspension if owners across the league suggested it.
“We’ve had these discussions,” Goodell said. “This was an issue just about a year ago I think right after I left the draft. When we make these decisions it’s with a tremendous amount of thought and a tremendous amount of consideration. Our staff worked very hard on it. I think we have given that full consideration.
“We’re careful and this is where this is where the commissioner’s authority is important. We don’t allow individual clubs to influence an outcome with respect to discipline because it can effect other clubs. The rules of the league, that is handed to the commissioner by the 32 clubs for exactly that reason — to avoid any club getting a competitive advantage.
“While I listen, I obviously will take anything into consideration. Sometimes it is meaningful. Sometimes there is another point in my view that is more powerful or our staff views as more powerful. You have to balance that and recognizing that it is not likely I am going to find a resolution everyone can agree on.”
Goodell was asked if he felt Monday’s ruling was viewed as a win. He said it wasn’t.
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