U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman wiped out New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension Thursday for the “Deflategate” controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football’s integrity. Tom Brady will be eligble to play in next Thursday’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Berman’s ruling will not end the dispute as commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL have already made an appeal. Goodell “respectfully” disagreed with Berman’s ruling, saying, “We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.”
The judge said that Brady had no notice he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs and for not cooperating with an investigation. Berman attacked the league while questioning one of its lawyers at two hearings, citing a lack of proof against Brady and asking how Goodell settled on a four-game suspension instead of other discipline.
Read the full ruling here:
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