What a shocking turnaround! A federal appeals court reinstated Tom Brady’s four-game suspension on April 25, seven months after a judge ruled that the NFL quarterback wouldn’t receive a penalty for the ‘Deflategate’ scandal. Get the details here!
Looks like Tom Brady won’t be playing with the New England Patriots until Week 5 of the 2016-2017 football season! A federal appeals court ruled that he must serve a four-game suspension that was originally imposed by the NFL for “Deflategate.” Tom, 38, thought he was off the hook when a lower courts judge took away his punishment for allegedly deflating game balls in the 2015 AFC Championship Game — but unfortunately for Pats fans and Tom, that’s no longer the case!
When the superstar quarterback faced a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan on April 25, things didn’t go in his favor. The panel ended up ruling 2-to-1 that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell didn’t deprive Tom of “fundamental fairness” with his initial four-game punishment for Deflategate, according to the Associated Press.
This decision may come as a shock to Patriots fans, as the speculation of Tom’s involvement in the “Deflategate” scandal has gone back and forth. The NFL initially imposed the four-game suspension in May 11, 2015, when Tom was caught in the middle of a cheating operation between Patriots staff members Jim McNally and John Jastremski. But after a long dispute, Tom eventually took the NFL to court — and won.
Federal judge Richard M. Berman took a look at Tom’s case in September, nullifying the punishment as he found “several significant legal deficiencies” in how Roger and the NFL investigated the accusations about the deflated footballs. The NFL almost immediately declared that they would appeal the decision, which ended up being very beneficial for the league!
The majority of the federal appeals court panel declared that Roger’s “procedural rulings were properly grounded” in the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and NFL Players Association (NFLPA). This resulted in a fundamentally fair penalty toward Tom…even if it’s not what Tom wanted to hear.
But the federal appeal court’s decision still doesn’t necessarily put an end to this lengthy “Deflategate” battle. Tom and the NFLPA can petition for another hearing in front of the same panel, eventually taking the appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. At this point, though, neither move seems likely as it would be costly and time-consuming.
As for what the NFL is going to do, that’s not immediately clear either. The league has the option to either implement the entire suspension or, if they’re concerned that Tom will appeal once again, they can attempt to reach a settlement to avoid any further appeals. Considering there’s still several months to go until the start of the NFL season and the back-and-forth nature of the scandal, it seems anything is possible!
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of how Deflate-Gate ended up? Does Tom deserve the four-game suspension? Tell us below!