Tom Brady’s 4-game suspension, handed down by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, has been reinstated by an appeals court today. In a 2-to-1 decision, a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan on Monday reinstated the suspension of Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback. Their ruling overturned a lower-court decision that had voided the N.F.L.’s suspension.
This basically ruled that the Brady punishment for the famous “Deflategate” scandal (a scheme to deflate footballs used in a playoff game), which was overturned by a court ruling last summer, is back in place. His team argued that Brady was unfairly punished for his limited involvement in the scheme, but Goodall issued the 4-game suspension due to his not being fully compliant with the N.F.L.’s investigation of the scandal.
The judges did not consider the much discussed underlying facts of the case, including the science of football deflation, but looked solely at whether Goodell, as arbitrator, acted in the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement.
“We hold that the commissioner properly exercised this broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness,” Judges Barrington Daniels Parker Jr. and Denny Chin wrote in their opinion. “Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remain with instructions to confirm the award.”
Brady can now appeal the decision to the full Second Circuit or even to the Supreme Court, but legal experts feel that both options are long shots for a successful verdict.