In the wake of Judge Richard Berman’s decision to vacate Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension, NFLPA assistant executive director of external affairs George Atallah tweeted “Players’ rights win again.” Now, the union has released a more complete statement on the matter. Via the NFLPA’s website, here’s the full statement:
“The rights of Tom Brady and of all NFL players under the collective bargaining agreement were affirmed today by a Federal Judge in a court of the NFL’s choosing. We thank Judge Berman for his time, careful consideration of the issue and fair and just result.
“This decision should prove, once and for all, that our Collective Bargaining Agreement does not grant this Commissioner the authority to be unfair, arbitrary and misleading. While the CBA grants the person who occupies the position of Commissioner the ability to judiciously and fairly exercise the designated power of that position, the union did not agree to attempts to unfairly, illegally exercise that power, contrary to what the NFL has repeatedly and wrongfully claimed.
“We are happy for the victory of the rule of law for our players and our fans. This court’s decision to overturn the NFL Commissioner again should signal to every NFL owner that collective bargaining is better than legal losses. Collective bargaining is a much better process that will lead to far better results.”
While the victory for the NFLPA is a huge one, and will allow Brady to start in Week 1 – and presumably play the entire 2015 season – it doesn’t necessarily bring the DeflateGate saga to an end. The NFL is expected to appeal Judge Berman’s decision, taking it to the Second Circuit. The league has yet to officially issue a statement of its own, however.