The NFL Players Association officially filed its petition Wednesday to have Tom Brady’s four-game Deflategate suspension lifted, beginning the New England Patriots quarterback’s battle against the league in U.S. District Court.

There’s a lot of legal mumbo jumbo here, so we’ll try to break it down into simple terms. Here it goes:

NFLPA lawyers filed Brady’s appeal in Minnesota and asked that U.S. District Court judge David Doty be assigned to the case. Doty has ruled favorably for the union in the past. The legal filing is a petition to vacate NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s arbitration and a motion for a preliminary injunction.

Union lawyers asked Doty “to vacate the (NFL’s) suspension (of Tom Brady) or at least put it on hold until the case can be heard,” according to The Associated Press. Specifically, Brady’s legal team asked Doty to overrule Goodell’s suspension (making the QB a free, unpunished man) entirely by Sept. 4, six days before the Patriots’ Sept. 10 season opener. Sept. 4 is an important date, because it’s the last day a decision could be made without Brady missing practices leading up to the opener.

If Doty is unable to wipe out Goodell’s suspension by then, the NFLPA asked that he file an injunction — in other words, an exception — that would allow Brady to play until the ruling has been decided in federal court.

“We need to free him up for that first week,” union attorney Jeffrey Kessler told The AP. “We don’t believe this discipline can ever be sustained.”

The petition adds that Brady “suffers irreparable harm each day the unlawful award remains in effect.”

Kessler told The AP that the NFL has violated at least four protocols in the process of handing out Brady’s discipline. Kessler also said it was “offensive” that the league accused Brady of “destroying his cell phone to obstruct the investigation.”

“We believe they highlighted this issue solely to inflame the public, to suggest there is some secret information being withheld, and that’s wrong,” Kessler said. “It’s an unfair character assassination of a player who has done nothing but be a model citizen for this league.”

There is a hitch in the NFLPA’s giddyup, though: The NFL filed its own case Tuesday in New York — essentially because it doesn’t want Doty to hear it. The league argues the case should be heard in New York with a judge it requested. Only one judge will hear the case in one court, so the sides will plead their cases until a judge is assigned.

One final point of emphasis: Doty has not been assigned to the case in Minnesota.

Did you get all that?

This likely will drag on in the coming weeks, so don’t expect any answers soon. In the meantime, you can read the NFLPA’s entire 54-page petition to vacate below.

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