Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan

nytimesIn a major setback for the N.F.L., New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady prevailed in his battle to have his four-game suspension overturned on Thursday, as a federal judge reversed a ruling by Commissioner Roger Goodell to bench one of the league’s biggest stars in a dispute over underinflated balls he used in a January championship game.


[Above from left to right]  NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell, Judge Richard M. Berman of Federal District Court in Manhattan and Tom Brady.  Judge Berman did not rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs in a bid for competitive advantage. Instead, he focused on the narrower question of whether the collective bargaining agreement between the N.F.L. and the players union gave Goodell the authority to carry out the suspension. Judge Berman ruled that it did not.

Roger Goodell always swallows his lips when he’s angry.

Judge Dismisses Tom Bradys Four Game Suspension by Syndicated News SNN.BZ

Berman said Brady could not be suspended for “general awareness” of others’ conduct, as an N.F.L. investigative report determined.


“The court finds that Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and noncooperation with the ensuing investigation,’’ Berman wrote.

“No N.F.L. policy or precedent notifies players that they may be disciplined (much less suspended) for general awareness of misconduct by others,’’ he added.

Even if the league believed Brady had obstructed the investigation, by having a cellphone destroyed before it could be fully examined, the judge sided with Brady’s argument that “there is no evidence of a record of past suspensions based purely on obstructing a league investigation.”

He found the N.F.L. did not give Brady adequate notice of the potential penalty for the misconduct he was accused of and it had been denied sufficient access to the N.F.L.’s investigative files.

An underinflated football would be easier for a quarterback to grip and throw. New England won the game in question, the A.F.C. championship game, against the Indianapolis Colts, 45-7, scoring most of its points in the second half after the Colts had complained about the balls.

Brady’s lawyers had argued that the N.F.L. did not warn him that he could be suspended for not cooperating with the league’s investigation, as a report commissioned by the N.F.L. asserted, or for playing a role in tampering with equipment, something that normally warrants a fine. Brady had denied any knowledge, but the N.F.L. report said the preponderance of evidence made it likely he knew about the balls.

“It is more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of” Patriots equipment staff members “involving the release of air from Patriots game balls,’’ said the N.F.L. report, written by Ted Wells, an investigator hired by the league. “It is unlikely that an equipment assistant and a locker room attendant would deflate game balls without Brady’s knowledge and approval.’

Judge Berman’s ruling is a blow to Goodell, who has tried to expand his authority to suspend players for what he perceives to be violations of the integrity of the game.

Unless the N.F.L. can get a federal appeals court to issue an emergency injunction, Brady will play in the Patriots’ opening game Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Roger Goodell has enjoyed a long lucrative career earning mega-millions from the owners who pay him well to keep the NFL in business. This Federal Court loss is the fifth in a series of losses Goodell has had. It is time to get rid of Roger Goodell.

Get to know the real
Roger Goodell.

Coaches regularly send players back in to play when they’re injured or not ready. CTE is a brain trauma found in the brains of football players.  CTE is also referred to as “brain rot.” Football players in their 20’s and 30’s have the brain of a 90 year old.

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