ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

It Is Not So Much About Tom Brady Versus The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell...

Updated on September 4, 2015

It Is Not So Much About Tom Brady Versus The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell....

I hope that we do not look back at the current dispute between the National Football League's (NFL) Commissioner Goodell and quarterback Tom Brady - both of whom are proxies respectively for the National Football League team owners and the professional football players - that killed the proverbial golden goose. No doubt that the NFL is making Midas loot hand over fist, with no foreseeable curtailment of the revenues. Like most of those who have a modicum of legal training, I sincerely thought that Mr. Brady would lose in the 'Deflate-gate' dispute, but yesterday, a Judge Berman set aside the four-game suspension of Mr. Brady for allegedly 'deflating' the footballs used in the game. Had Judge Berman adhere to the Contract law principles that govern the Collective-Bargaining-Agreement (hereinafter CBA), a CBA duly negotiated between the NFL owners and the players - Tom Brady's four-game suspension should have been upheld.

A Brief Exposition of the Contract Law Principle (s) Operating in the Dispute:

As far as I can remember from my mandatory Contracts law class is that duly negotiated contracts and the language therein - no matter how seemingly one sided - is sacrosanct... with few exceptions. In the precedent setting cases used to teach Contract Law, there is an apt example of the tiny pepper corn; and as 'invaluable' or worthless as said pepper corn may be, it was permitted to be used by one of the negotiating parties as Consideration (something of value given by the parties to come to the agreement) and held up in the court of law. I laid that ground work to explain that the players went into the last CBA negotiations with the NFL owners and signed off to give Commissioner Goodell the power to dole out punishment when there is an apparent breach of the NFL's rules. One could say that it was foolhardy to have signed off on such a CBA agreement on the part of the players, which virtually gave Commissioner Goodell carte-blanche and fiat-like powers to dole out punishment - but they did, and, as a consequence, Brady's punishment should have been upheld by Judge Berman, in accordance to my example used above about the pepper corn as Consideration.

As mentioned above, there are always exceptions and Contract Law has its share. For example, the exception that is almost apropos here is the concept of an Adhesion Contract, which basically means that one party in the contract negotiations had all the power, and, in essence, the weaker other side was forced to sign off - this is akin to the shot-gun wedding. This was not the case with the players and the NFL owners because both were represented by more than competent counsels from 'White-Shoe' law firms, which then underscore that there was no one sided influence and makes void the concept of the shot-gun wedding. Granted that I was an average law student, but the lawyers, especially on the part of the NFL Commissioner, should have known that there is an adversary relationship and should have taken steps to have neutral parties (arbitrators) to adjudicate disputes between the parties. The concept of the Appearance of Impropriety should have also come to the fore because how could anyone reasonably expect that the NFL Commissioner to be 'judiciously fair' in any dispute with the players when he made some $40 million last year alone, paid by the NFL owners - it's like having a thirsty man (Goodell) coming out of the Sahara Desert and expecting him not drink from the copious troughs (NFL owners money) placed before him to do the owners biddings.

What of Tom Brady's Alleged Culpability:

Almost every quarterback, even those supporting Mr. Brady, when asked about the deflation of the footballs, said that Tom Brady should have known that the balls were tampered with. Since there is no jail time for such a breach, I can only turn to a Tort law concept that I can used to handicap the Brady dispute. The concept of Res Ipsa Loquitur, which means that one had exclusive control of the thing in dispute or that caused the harm. Surely, the lowly ball boys are not going to tamper with the football by themselves - someone must have told them to do so at the benefit of Mr. Brady; whether Brady or Coach Belichick ordered the balls to be altered, they were in possessions of the balls, and therefore, they are liable for the actions taken by the NFL Commissioner Goodell. Now, whether or not Brady was responsible, did he deserve a four-game suspension? From a comparison point of view, of others who were punished for breaching the NFL's rules - no! Furthermore, it does not look good/fair when Mr. Brady suffered the same punishment fate as a Ray Rice who viciously beat down his wife or for those players who used performance enhanced drugs (PEDs).

It was expected that the NFL owners would appeal Judge Berman's decision that set aside Brady's four-game suspension, but, as I have said, this is more than this particular dispute; this is about the future power of the NFL Commissioner and the players rights and ability to have a 'neutral body' to resolve issues between the parties, as it is the wont in an adversary system. At this juncture, Commissioner Goodell has lost much of his power, because, now, the legal concept of the 'flood gates' being wide open is appropriate - think of all the cases, legitimate or otherwise, that are going to be challenged if there is no neutral avenues to resolve said issues between the adversary parties. I do not know if we are now going to see the rabid knock-down, drag-out fights to place personnel on the coming arbitrators' panel we have seen when there is an opening on our Supreme Court, however, I do hope though that the parties involve realize that there is enough, money-wise, to go around because no one wants to be the party responsible for destroying the ever increasing goose laying Midas revenues. Go Raiders!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)