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Thursday, 06 August 2015 15:01

Observations from Tom Brady's Deflategate Appeal Hearing Transcript

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A lot can be learned from the nearly 500 page transcript of Tom Brady's Deflategate appeal hearing. Whether the judge will decide in favor of Goodell or Brady is unclear, but what is clear is that Brady and his legal team are making quite the case and are giving it their all. 

The “Deflategate” saga has been waging on since just after the AFC Championship game back in January, but within the last few days it has begun to heat up quite a bit as the court is getting more and more involved. However, things are looking up for Tom Brady and Patriots Nation due to the extreme effort his legal team and the NFLPA is putting forth.  


They are doing a couple of things to really make their case. First, they are highlighting the flaws of the NFL’s handling of this whole situation, including their policies and procedures. For example, they are criticizing the lack of clarity in terms of potential punishment in regard to whether or not Brady handed over his cellphone. Additionally, they are attacking Goodell’s decision to not step aside as arbitrator for this case due to his evident lack of objectiveness. In addition to Goodell being stubborn, he, Wells, and their team used and are using unfounded evidence as well as consequential evidence to try to and incriminate Brady.


Furthermore, the NFLPA and Brady are rightfully claiming that the NFL should have punished Brady under the “Player Policies.” This seems obvious since he is a player and the policy is given in paper form to all players in the league. It also states that when a player commits an equipment violation for the first time, they will be issued a fine. However, he was punished under the “Competitive Integrity Policy” which is not distributed to the players, but to the team executives. One must ask themselves how Goodell could think this makes sense. 


Another way Brady’s legal team is attempting to discredit Goodell and his crew is by citing previous misconduct cases in the NFL in an effort to bring some precedent into the conversation. They used the Brett Favre sexual harassment scandal as a comparable case. That case is similar to Brady’s because in both instances they refused to turn over their cellphones. The key difference is that Favre was fined $50,000 instead of being suspended four games. 


Being suspended for FOUR whole NFL games should not be contingent upon handing over cellphone records, he has the right to say no as a private citizen. But this is where it gets ironic and funny, Jeffrey Kessler, Brady’s lawyer, requested in the appeal hearing that the transcript be made public in the interest of being transparent. Can you guess what the NFL said? Yup, they didn’t like the idea. Look whose withholding information now! Judge Berman ordered the transcript to be made public allowing for analysts and reporters all over the country to fully witness the ludicrousness of the stance Goodell and the NFL are taking. 


These are just some of the points that can be found in the 457 page appeal hearing transcript. Regardless of the outcome, Brady, his legal team, and the NFLPA are righteously putting forth a massive effort to help clear Brady’s name and discredit Goodell and his team’s unfair tactics. And it looks like the tables are slowly turning in favor of our beloved quarterback.  
Drew Kennedy

Drew is a Patriots beat reporter for CLNS Radio.  Drew is currently a Communication Major at Bryant University in Rhode Island.  At Bryant, Drew serves as Director of Marketing for Recreational Sports, and VP of Marketing for a new student section club for Bryant Athletics.  You can follow Drew on Twitter @DrewKennedy7.