A U.S. District Court judge ordered that the lawsuit filed by the NFL players’ union on behalf of Tom Brady receive a hearing in New York and not in Minnesota as requested.
The Minnesota-based judge Richard Kyle wrote that he “sees little reason for this action to have been commenced in Minnesota at all.” While the New England Patriots played the Vikings in Minnesota last season, the NFL Players Association (D.C.) and the NFL (NYC), and the Patriots (Foxboro) all call home places far from the Land of 10,000 Lakes, making the Midwestern judge-shopping far-fetched.
The lawsuit objects to the NFL’s recent ruling that the Patriots schemed to seek an advantage by deflating footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship Game. The NFL suspended Brady for four games and docked the Patriot’s $1 million and two draft choices.
According to Fox Sports, Kyle reasoned that Brady plays in Massachusetts, the players union is in D.C., and the NFL is in New York. “The arbitration proceedings took place in New York and the award was issued in New York,” Kyle explained.
The judge suspected that the union, Brady, and their lead attorney Jeffrey Kessler, sought Minnesota as a venue “because it has obtained favorable rulings from this court in the past on behalf of its members.”
Kessler initially argued that Brady’s suspension was related to the Adrian Peterson’s suspension case last season, which was held in Minnesota. Nevertheless, the lawyer responded to Kyle’s decision saying, “We are happy in any federal court, which unlike the arbitration before Goodell provides a neutral forum, and will now seek our injunction in the New York court.”
Wednesday Brady posted on Facebook a statement denying that he deflated footballs in the AFC Championship: “I did nothing wrong.”
Patriot’s Team owner Robert Kraft commented that, “It’s completely incomprehensible to me that the league continues to take steps to disparage one of its all-time great players and a man for whom I have the utmost respect.” He added, “That this was never about doing what was fair and just.”