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AFL-CIO Files Brief Supporting Brady

As the Deflategate trial drags on, more supporters of Tom Brady have filed briefs to the Second Circuit Court, and today the AFL-CIO and Kenneth Feinberg got involved in the now-historic labor dispute.

Tom Brady has picked up a good amount of supporters during the course of this Deflategate fiasco, but the ally that came to his defense on Tuesday may carry the most weight to date. The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, otherwise known as the AFL-CIO, filed a brief on Monday requesting that the 2nd Circuit Court reconsider their decision to overturn the Tom Brady suspension dismissal. They filed what is called an "amicus brief", and in this brief, and they were very critical of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the decision of the 2nd Circuit to reinstate the suspension.

They stated the Goodell "failed to show basic procedural fairness. Even a cursory review of the commissioner's decision makes clear that he acted in the self-serving role of an employer justifying his own disciplinary decision rather than as a neutral arbitrator considering an appeal." Feinberg, who has been an arbitrator for over 30 years, also had a lot to say about this historic case:

Feinburg: "The high-profile nature of this case has serious potential to affect public confidence. Mr. Feinberg comes before this court not to support the unfettered aggrandizement of arbitral powers for he and his fellow arbitrators-- but to caution against it. Goodell impermissibly exceeded the scope of his authority, but more troubling was that he used the vehicle of arbitration as a mechanism to rewrite the underlying bargain between the parties, to the sole advantage of him organization. If this type of bias or capricious notions of industrial justice are upheld, the public should -- and will -- lose faith in the systems of arbitration and private dispute resolution that have become a parallel component of our justice system."

Now we have the 21 New York professors, the New England Patriots legal team, and the AFL-CIO that have filed briefs to the Second Circuit pleading with them to review this landmark case that has gone from a football issue to a CBA issue that could affect unions throughout the country. 

Feinburg spoke on this issue too:

"It is of exceptional importance to arbitrators in light of the issues it raises about the power of arbitrators. Mr. Feinburg acutely understands the real-world importance of fairness to the parties ability to accept an outcome -- whatever it may be. Often no sum of money can repair the losses victims and their families suffer. Justice rests solely upon receiving fair process."

In layman's terms, he is saying that arbitrators have a very important job and they hold a significant amount of power, and if these arbitrators don't act fairly, there is no way the victim will be able to recover. He states "justice rests solely upon receiving fair process", and the exact opposite occurred in the Brady appeal. 

Follow me @chris_simoneau


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