Goodell's decision to hear the appeal himself is in accordance with the process agreed upon with the NFLPA in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement. Brady's suspension was based upon the findings of the Wells Report. The report concluded it was "more probable than not" that Brady was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" regarding the deflation of Patriots game balls used in the AFC Championship Game.
The NFLPA had publicly pushed for Goodell to appoint a neutral arbitrator to hear the appeal.
"Given the NFL's history of inconsistency and arbitrary decisions in disciplinary matters, it is only fair that a neutral arbitrator hear this appeal," the NFLPA said in a statement.
The Wells Report, released May 6, also stated that Brady did not fully cooperate with the league's investigation by refusing to hand over "any relevant electronic evidence."
The lack of cooperation, in part, led to the four-game suspension handed down by the NFL.
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