New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFL Players Association said Tuesday it has formally asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to recuse himself and allow Tom Brady's appeal to be heard by a neutral arbitrator.
The NFL said last week that Goodell would personally hear Brady's appeal of his four-game suspension over "DeflateGate."
The union says a neutral arbitrator should hear the appeal based on what it believes was an impartial process that led to Brady's suspension by the NFL after the star New England Patriots quarterback was implicated in the Wells report investigating deflated balls in the AFC Championship Game.
"Given a process that has contained procedural violations of our collective bargaining agreement, the commissioner's role as a central witness in the appeal hearing and his evident partiality with respect to the Wells report, the commissioner must designate a neutral party to serve as an arbitrator in this matter," the union said in a statement.
"The players also believe that the commissioner's history of inconsistently issuing discipline against our players makes him ill-suited to hear this appeal in a fair-minded manner.
"If the NFL believes the Ted Wells report has credibility because it is independent, then the NFL should embrace our request for an independent review."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft announced on Tuesday that the team would "reluctantly" accept its penalties in the deflated footballs scandal and won't appeal a $1 million fine and loss of two draft picks handed down by the NFL.