FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday night he will personally hear the suspension appeal of Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, who challenged the league’s punishment for his role in using deflated footballs during the AFC championship game.
The NFL Players Association filed the expected appeal about an hour before a 5 p.m. deadline on Thursday, asking for a neutral arbitrator to hear the case. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello confirmed about six hours later that the commissioner had rejected the request.
“Commissioner Goodell will hear the appeal of Tom Brady’s suspension in accordance with the process agreed upon with the NFL Players Association in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement,” he said.
Union officials declined immediate comment. Patriots team officials and Brady’s agent, Donald Yee, did not immediately respond to emails seeking comment from The Associated Press late Thursday night.
Goodell’s decision was first reported by Bleacher Report.