NFLPA's DeMaurice Smith: NFL penalizing Tom Brady for being generally aware 'borders on intellectual hypocrisy'

Ryan Hannable
May 23, 2016 - 9:11 am

[caption id="attachment_108602" align="alignright" width="400"]NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith continued to blast Roger Goodell. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports) NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith continued to blast Roger Goodell. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)[/caption] 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. "Basically the argument is that the collective bargaining agreement and Roger's decision to cloak himself as the arbitrator meant that he also cloaked himself in case law that means he must follow industrial due process," Smith said. "At its core, it means once the commissioner decided to be the arbitrator, it also means an arbitrator can't simply go rogue. And in this case, he heard evidence based on discipline that he based on facts and then after the hearing decided to base the discipline on why. We believe when he chose to the the arbitrator in this case, which is different than choosing to be the disciplinarian, when he chose to be the neutral arbitrator, when he chose to cloak himself neutrality, that also means he cannot choose then to be unfair." Added Smith: "In this case it was an abuse when he chose to be the arbitrator and then chose to be an unfair arbitrator. Look at it this way: If an employer decides to impose punishment, an employer has a wide range of options to punish employees. When that employer also says in this case I am going to choose to review that punishment and I am going to step into the role of neutral arbitrator that also means you have to be neutral. You have to be unbiased. You have to be fair. In this case, it is clear Judge Berman found 'Roger Goodell was going to impose his own brand of industrial due process.' When you choose to be an arbitrator, you cannot do that."