Brady re-suspended for four games

Published 5:26 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A 2-1 decision on Monday by a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the second circuit in Manhattan reinstated the four-game suspension for New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady, overturning a lower court decision.

The federal appeals court ruled that Brady must serve a four game Deflategate suspension imposed by the National Football League overturning a lower court judge and siding with the league in a battle with the leagues’ players association.

The case stems from some footballs being improperly deflated during the Patriots’ 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts during the 2015 American Football Conference championship game in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

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It had been alleged that the footballs used in the American Football Conference championship game had been illegally deflated. The Patriots went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

In the original case the league argued that it was fair for Commissioner Roger Goodell to severely penalize Brady after he concluded that the star quarterback tarnished the game by impeding the leagues’ investigation by destroying a cellphone containing almost 10,000 messages.

It was argued by the league that the cellphone destruction raised the stakes from air in a football to compromising the integrity of a proceeding that the commissioner had convened.

I don’t know if Brady had anything to do with the original deflating of the footballs or not. Maybe a manager or trainer did it, but any National Football League quarterback knows how the football normally feels when he receives the snap from center. In addition game officials are required to check the football for proper inflation before they go to the field.

The relationship between the National Football League and its players union is adversarial when it comes to discipline.

Options now available to the players union now include seeking a rehearing by the second circuit or asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Katzmann, the one dissenting vote in Monday’s three-judge decision, said he felt it was ironic that a process designed to ensure fairness to all players has been used unfairly against one player.

If Brady was involved in deflating the footballs, he deserved the suspension, but managers, players and game officials whose job it was to check them before they went into the game should also share some blame.