In case you haven’t been marking off the days by scratching a boulder with a rock like Tom Hanks in “Castaway” the way I have, I want you to know that we’ve now reached the 500th day of Deflategate. And you just know that Tom Brady’s side wouldn’t pass the milestone pass without upping the ante in his appeal.
As Chris Price reported Tuesday, no less a powerhouse than the AFL-CIO, the most influential organized labor group in the history of the United States, filed an amicus brief in defense of Brady. Add that to the one that 20 different scientists submitted and the Patriots own, precedent-setting filing, and it’s obvious that Brady and the NFLPA side is girding for all-out, total war on his one.
But according to legal expert/Deflategate professor/Dale & Holley with Thornton regular Michael McCann, Brady’s side has a secret weapon: Kenneth Feinberg.
Feinberg is a legendary figure in legal circles, particularly among those connected to “fund distribution,” which refers to allocation of settlements to victims of large-scale harms. Feinberg has been entrusted with determining formulas that most fairly compensate victims of some of the worst incidents in recent history. He undertook this duty in assessing claims by victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the Boston Marathon bombings [and] Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA case. …
In truth, you might expect someone of Feinberg’s stature to view getting involved in Deflategate as a net negative: no one on either side of this controversy has looked particularly good, and Feinberg has an impeccable reputation to protect. But as Feinberg explains in his amicus brief, he believes that the enforcement of Brady’s suspension would trigger consequences well beyond sports. He contends it would destabilize the system of arbitration in the Unites States and that it would make it harder for Feinberg and others like to him to carry out their duties.
And there we are. With 500 days of this ragtime behind us and no end in sight, the union that represents 12.5 percent of American workers and the nation’s most distinguished and trusted arbitrator are telling the judges that Roger Goodell’s witch hunt goes way beyond one quarterback. And if his own brand of institutional injustice is upheld, it threatens all victims who, without the court’s help, would have no voice against the wealthy and powerful.
So my question remains for those last few holdouts, so blinded by their resentment toward the Patriots that they’ve sided with the NFL from the beginning of this circus. How do you sleep at night, knowing you’re backing a cabal of billionaires running a legal monopoly as they trample the rights of the working man? If you were around in 1892, would you have taken Andrew Carnegie’s side while his Pinkertons were slaughtering the Homestead Strikers? Would you have sided with the mining industry over the coal miners my hero Teddy Roosevelt stood up for in 1902? Would you have read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle and said “Screw the food industry workers. They knew they might end up falling into the meat grinders when they took the job”?
The fact is, that you’re either standing behind Tom Brady and working people everywhere in this dispute, or you’re with the NFL and evil, soulless, corporate abuse of power. There is no third option at this point. Personally I’m on the side of the scientists, labor unions, and the man who stood up for victims of terrorism. Which is why I sleep like a baby.
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