NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is happy that an appeals court gave him the authority to suspend Tom Brady for the first four games of the season, saying this morning that he had the facts behind his decision on Deflategate.
“We’re obviously pleased with the court’s decision,” Goodell said on Bloomberg TV. “We think that was the right decision. They were very firm in their decision that that was within our authority and the judgments were based on solid facts. So we’re actually pleased with that, and we hope we can move on from there.”
Goodell continues to think the commissioner should be the person who makes such decisions, although he did open the door for the possibility that some changes to the disciplinary process could happen in the future.
“We think it’s important that the commissioner protect the integrity of the game, that you can’t entrust that to someone who has no understanding of our business, and the appellate court yesterday reaffirmed that,” Goodell said. “So we think this is an important element of our success. We obviously have changed our discipline process through the years and we will continue to do that if we think it’s in the best interests of the NFL.”
If Goodell wanted to, he could choose to settle with Brady for a fine, not a suspension. He could also come to an agreement with the NFL Players Association to allow a third party to handle discipline. But Goodell doesn’t sound eager to do either of those things.