Roger Goodell has appeared in court multiple times during the NFL’s lengthy legal battle with Tom Brady and the NFL Players Association over the New England Patriots quarterback’s four-game Deflategate suspension.
But that doesn’t make the NFL commissioner a lawyer.
That was the scathing message of U.S. District Judge David S. Doty on Wednesday, who took a shot at Goodell during a hearing in Minnesota for a contempt motion filed by the NFLPA in the Adrian Peterson case.
Doty said “we’re all very curious” to see how U.S. District Judge Richard Berman will rule on Brady’s suspension in New York before pointing out Goodell’s lack of legal expertise.
“I’m not sure the commissioner understands there is a (collective bargaining agreement),” Doty said, via USA TODAY Sports.
Doty has ruled in favor of the union over the league in several instances — most recently in a decision that allowed Peterson’s suspension to be vacated — so it’s not surprising to see him slip in a jab at Goodell.
The commissioner and his legal team have leaned heavily on the CBA in their case to uphold Brady’s suspension by citing Article 46, which gives Goodell the power to impose his own discipline and handle any subsequent appeal. Yet the NFLPA has fought back in defending the Patriots quarterback, arguing the CBA doesn’t give Goodell the power to just do whatever he wants.
The next court appearance in Brady’s case is scheduled for Aug. 31, just 10 days before New England’s season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images