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Goodell to hear Brady appeal

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Commissioner Roger Goodell informed the NFLPA its request to have Goodell removed from Tom Brady’s upcoming appeal of a four-game suspension has been denied.

The appeal is expected to be heard June 23.

FOX Sports first reported Goodell provided a response to the players’ union, which requested a neutral party be seated for Brady’s appeal of the ban resulting from the Ted Wells investigation. The denial of the NFLPA request was expected.

Goodell said in January and repeated last month that he considered the Deflategate scandal an issue that threatened the integrity of the game.

“I look forward to hearing directly from Tom. … I have great admiration and respect for Tom Brady. But the rules have to be enforced on a uniform basis. They apply to everybody in the league. … We put the game ahead of everything,” Goodell said at the spring meetings in San Francisco.

The NFLPA disagreed with the investigation on the premise that it was not truly neutral and that evidence was circumstantial. Wells attacked those claims.

Goodell said he read the report by investigator Wells only “shortly before” the public did and denied that the NFL demanded the Patriots suspend the two employees who handled the footballs for the team. There was no discussion on the chain of custody or the protocol for handling of game balls at the owners’ meetings over the past two days. Goodell said the NFL office would first discuss what changes it wants to see.

“What you are trying to do is get it right. I thought his report was very clear. It was comprehensive,” Goodell said.

Goodell reiterated that failure to cooperate was a factor in punishment stemming from the Wells investigation.

“We do expect to have that; and, when there isn’t full cooperation, that’s part of the discipline,” he said.


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