- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The NFL scored an apparent victory Thursday in its dispute with Patriots quarterback Tom Brady over his four-game suspension.
One day after the NFL Players Association filed a lawsuit against the league on behalf of Brady, a Minnesota judge has sent the case back court in New York, where the NFL had gotten the jump on the union by filing motions in federal court in Manhattan on Tuesday to ask that its decision to uphold Brady's four-game suspension be confirmed.
As the New England Patriots and quarterback Brady take the field for their first practice of training camp Thursday morning, the Sports Business Journal reports that his case will be heard in New York, not Minnesota, as the NFLPA had hoped. Now, all of the hearings related to Brady's legal appeal of his suspension will be heard in a Manhattan courtroom.
The union has previously had success in litigation in Minnesota, which is considered a labor-friendly state. Additionally, U.S. District Judge David Doty has heard many cases related to the NFL and has at times sided with the players union in the past, including when he overturned the suspension of Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.
The move to consolidate the lawsuits involving Brady in New York is seen as an initial victory for the NFL in that the league was successful in choosing the jurisdiction to hear the arguments. This is a result of the NFL filing its suit in New York on Tuesday, asking for its suspension to be confirmed, before the NFLPA filed suit in Minnesota on Wednesday.
The NFL's action was part of what seemed to anger Patriots owner Robert Kraft in his Wednesday remarks, when he appeared to direct a salvo at NFL general counsel Jeff Pash in saying, "Now the league has taken the matter to court, which is a tactic that only a lawyer would recommend."