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Federal Court Orders Tom Brady to Serve Deflategate Suspension

Federal Court Orders Tom Brady to Serve Deflategate Suspension


Monday, a federal appeals court decided Tom Brady must serve a four-game suspension rendered in the original Deflategate decision.

The suspension was overturned by a federal judge in September.

ESPN reports:

Monday’s ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals to reinstate New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s suspension doesn’t come as a surprise after what unfolded during the March 3 hearing. That wasn’t a good day for Brady, which set the stage for this ruling.

A Patriots spokesman said the team will not have a comment on the ruling. Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association said in a statement:

“The NFLPA is disappointed in the decision by the Second Circuit. We fought Roger Goodell’s suspension of Tom Brady because we know he did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players’ rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement.

“Our Union will carefully review the decision, consider all of our options and continue to fight for players’ rights and for the integrity of the game.”

According to Yahoo:

The US Court of Appeals in New York in a 2-1 ruling found that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell had acted properly in issuing the sanction and did not “deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.”

Remind me — why is the federal government involved in football?

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justicewarrior | April 25, 2016 at 2:04 pm

It has nothing to do with one’s common notion of justice. It has everything to do with law. Courts must give great deference to arbitration awards particularly labor arbitration awards. That is just Federal Law — the Labor Management Relations Act and the Federal Arbitrationn Act.

“Remind me — why is the federal government involved in football?”

Because too many in Congress today, and in Congresses past, from say the 1920s, have failed to obey their Article VI oath to the Constitution, believing that there is nothing on which Congress cannot legislate.

The default setting has gone from “We can’t do this because we have limited powers, and we can only do what is expressly allowed in the text of the document. This much is clear; all we have to do is read the 9th and 10th amendments,”


“No one’s gonna stop us since the courts have given us license by ruling multiple times that we have the huge presumption that anything we do is presumptively constitutional. No stopping us now. This is a pretty big deal for us because that neat trick now forces those who contest our authority to prove that we don’t have the authority. No longer do we have to prove that we have it.”

And the people, not knowing their document (keeping this knowledge is one of the aims of government-controlled schools) and the freedoms it protects by LIMITING government, have gone along with the tricks to their detriment.

That’s why.

    mochajava76 in reply to pfg. | April 25, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Whether the ruling was correct or not is questionable, and is predicated on the agreement of how much power Goodell’s office can wield. I[m a Pats fan, so I disagree.

    But why this is before Congress has nothing to do with Goodell’s ineptitude, and all to do with tax dollars.

    When all these stadiums are built on sweet heart deals involving low or no interest bonds, the government is involved. Just Google “tax free bonds for stadiums” to get a flavor.

    As a side note, Kraft threatened to move the Patriots to CT because Massachusetts didn’t initially want to play the game. He got what he wanted but there are many people in CT who are pissed that they were used in his high stakes poker game.

      rabidfox in reply to mochajava76. | April 25, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      Is it Federal tax money or state tax money that is involved in building stadiums? I still don’t see where the Feds have a reason to be involved.

The government is involved because nowhere else will you find more experts on deflated balls.

C’mon, now! Did the union attorney not explain to the judges just how special Tom Brady is?

A couple of things …

1) This was a 2-1 decision with the Chief Justice writing a pretty compelling dissent.

2) All 3 judges were initially appointed by Democrats, although Barrington Parker Jr was elevated to the 2nd by W. I don’t think politics played a big role in this matter.

3) The NFL was represented by Paul Clement, former Solicitor-General under W. I think his work probably swayed the two judges to rule in favor of the NFL. He is one of the better legal minds out there. I think he was the difference-maker in this matter.

4) This could still be heard en banc (the entire 2nd Appellate Court). I think this should be the next step for Brady based on the dissent of the Chief Justice. This should be the only and last move by the NFLPA and Tom Brady.

5) I can not believe this has gotten this far. This was Goodell acting like a king and not a commissioner. I think the next CBA negotiations will be very interesting to watch. The last one was made successful by Robert Kraft, the owner of the Patriots. I think Goodell’s power trip in this matter cost him one of his best allies.
Little known fact about Goodell; his first job with the NFL was being former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s limo driver.

I can’t explain why the federal government is involved in football in general, but this is not an example of that. This is a federal court adjudicating a contract dispute involving parties from more than one state, which is exactly what federal courts are for. Even if Congress had never paid any attention to sports, this case would still have been held, and probably with the same result.

    spartan in reply to Milhouse. | April 26, 2016 at 7:10 am

    This is exactly on-point as to why it is in federal court.

    The real reason Congress gets any involvement with the NFL is via the Anti-Trust Laws. The Radovich case decided back in the 1950’s did not give the NFL the same protection the SCOTUS gave MLB in the 1920’s from Anti-Trust laws.
    Since then, MLB does much lobbying of Congress to make sure they do not come under Anti-Trust laws. The NFL lobbies Congress to make sure they do not come under further scrutiny.

    These are times when you realize that lobbying in many ways is a form of protection and influence-peddling. I find it interesting that the 2 front-runners are well-schooled in both activities.

On the one hand, the CBA did specify that the Commissioner would serve as arbitrator, but I don’t think there are too many prior instances where the Commissioner himself was so deeply involved in the proceedings up until the arbitration occurred. By that time, he was fully, personally invested in the outcome. Anyone with a modest sense of propriety would have recognized the conflict and stepped aside.

Instead, he has guaranteed that the next CBA negotiation will be a doozy.