UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
MANAlJEMEN I CUUNCIL,
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
This Decision and Order resolves the parties' respective cross-motions to confirm and to
vacate NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's July 28, 2015 Arbitration A ward imposing a fourgame suspension on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, pursuant to Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 29 U.S.C. § 185, and Section I 0 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. § 10. 1 In reaching its decision, the Court has reviewed the record herein, including without limitation, (a) the investigation concerning allegedly deflated footballs used during the AFC Championship Game on January 18,2015 between the New England Patriots ("Patriots") and the 1 On July 28,2015, the National Football League Management Council ("Management Council" or "Plaintiff') filed a Complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York seeking to confirm the arbitration award. On July 29, 2015, the National Football
League Players Association ("Players Association" or "Defendant") filed a Petition to Vacate
Arbitration Award in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. The
Minnesota matter was immediately transferred to this district, under docket number 15 Civ. 5982, by U.S. District Judge Richard H. Kyle pursuant to the "first to file" rule. See National Football League Players Association v. National Football League Management Council, Civ. No. 15-3168 (RHKIHB), slip op. at 2 (D. Minn. July 30, 2015). Indianapolis Colts ("Colts"), initiated by the National Football League ("NFL" or "League") and
Jr. of Paul, Weiss, Rifkin, Wharton & Garrison ("Pash!Wells Investigation" or "Investigation");
(b) the 139-page written report, dated May 6, 2015, which was the end product of the Pash/Wells Investigation ("Wells Report" or "Report"); (c) the letter, dated May II, 2015, from NFL Executive Vice President Troy Vincent ("Vincent") to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady ("Brady") imposing a four-game suspension on Brady ("Vincent's Disciplinary Decision Letter" or "Vincent's Letter to Brady"); (d) the letter, dated May 11, 2015, from Vincent to Robert K. Kraft ("Kraft"), owner of the Patriots, imposing on the Patriots Club a fine of $1 ,000,000 and forfeiture of the first round "pick" in the 2016 NFL draft and the fourth round "pick" in the 2017 NFL draft; (e) the transcript of the arbitration hearing that took place on June 23, 2015 before NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ("Goodell"), who had designated himself as arbitrator of Brady's appeal; (t) Goodell's Final Decision on Article 46 Appeal ofT om Brady, dated July 28, 2015 ("Final Decision" or "Award"), which affirmed Brady's four-game suspension; (g) the Management Council Complaint, dated July 28,2015, seeking confirmation of the Award; (h) the Players Association Amended Answer and Counterclaim, dated August 4, 2015, seeking vacatur of the Award ("Def.'s Countercl."); (i) the Players Association's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Vacate Arbitration Award, dated August 7, 2015 ("Def.'s Mem. Supp."); (j) the Management Council's Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Confirm and in
Opposition to Motion to Vacate, dated August 7, 2015 ("Pl.'s Mem. Supp.); and (k) the further written submissions of the parties. The Court has also heard helpful oral argument from counsel on August 12,2015 and on August 19,2015.
Based upon the foregoing and applicable legal authorities, the Court hereby denies the
Management Council's motion to confirm the Award and grants the Players Association's
motion to vacate the Award, therehy vacating the lour-game suspension otT om nrady,
Well, still no 'standing' for us regular Carpenters in Judge Bermy's Courtroom (pay to play); but lo & behold ole Bermy got this one right:
JUDGE BERMAN RULES IN BRADY's FAVOR
- amazing, suspension over-turned. And now for the only fitting song to memorialize this decision. Of course Goddell won't like it, but too bad! Tom Brady can stand tall when around this arrogant clown Goddell. Time for the NFL to get rid of this boob; re: $43M a year to drag them through this crap - seriously, fire this guy.
Hey Dennis, pass this one on to Judge Berman as we're sure it's not on his top 10 Play List, but he'll get a kick out of it.