Tom Brady won! The New England Patriots quarterback beat the NFL! On Sept. 3, a judge overturned his four-game suspension for his alleged role in the ‘Deflate-Gate’ cheating scandal! Tom will now be able to play at the start of the 2015 football season.
Could this finally be the end of “Deflate-Gate?” Tom Brady, 38, sure hopes so. The New England Patriots quarterback is now eligible to start the 2015 NFL season with the Patriots, instead of having to ride the bench. A judge wiped out the NFL’s punishment for Tom’s alleged role in the ball-deflating scandal that rocked professional football!
US District Judge Richard Berman said that Tom’s four-game suspension is no good! He overturned the NFL’s ruling on Sept. 3, reports the New York Post. This decision comes after the two sides failed to reach a settlement in the case. The NFL wanted Tom to serve the suspension in full. Tom thought that it was “unfair discipline.” He was willing to pay a fine, but the NFL wouldn’t have it.
So, Tom took the NFL to court. When the NFL and Tom couldn’t come up with a settlement, Judge Berman was forced to issue a ruling. In earlier court sessions, the judge suggested that the league’s findings were “too vague” but also acknowledged that Tom was generally aware of the cheating.
Judge Berman didn’t rule that Tom was innocent, reports Deadspin. Instead, his ruling was about the “legality of the NFL’s investigatory and disciplinary procedures.” Basically, the NFL didn’t properly tell Tom the punishment he faced, didn’t allow him to properly question an NFL executive during his appeal and didn’t even give him a chance to examine the evidence against him!
Unfortunately, this may not be the end of “Deflate-Gate.” If the NFL wants to pursue this case further, they can file an injunction to halt the immediate implementation of the judge’s ruling. Yes, sports fans: this game could possibly go into overtime. However, the league is reportedly not going to fight the judge’s decision. If this is true, that means that Tom will start with the Patriots when they face the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10.
Update: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that the NFL will appeal the decision. “It’s paramount to protect the integrity of the game and his office’s responsibilities under the collective bargaining agreement with players,” Roger said in a statement on NFL.com.
Tom was suspended for four games on May 11, 2015, for his involvement in ‘Deflate-Gate.’ The scandal originated during the 2015 AFC Championship game between the Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts. The investigation into the scandal, conducted by NFL investigator Theodore Wells, discovered a cheating operation between Patriots employees Jim McNally and John Jastremski.
The report discovered texts between Jim and John that showed their cheating plot. There were nothing that directly tied Tom to the operation, but the report claims Tom was “likely aware” that deflating was going down. The Patriots were fined and docked some important Draft picks. The team accepted its punishment but Tom decided to fight. He appealed to the NFL, spending nearly 11 hours arguing his case.
The NFL told Tom “too bad, so sad” and upheld his suspension, accusing him of possibly destroying potential evidence when he destroyed his phone. Tom refused to quit, saying that he would clear his name by taking the NFL to court. The two sides met not on the gridiron, but in the courtroom. The hearings produced not just a memorable sketch that made Tom look like a zombie, but a decision in Tom’s favor.
Do you agree with the Judge’s ruling, HollywoodLifers? Do you think Tom should have accepted his punishment?
— Jason Brow