Thursday 22 March 2018 / 08:56 PM


The NFL has had the federal appeals court decision in the ‘Deflategate’ case go in its favour, with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension – originally handed down by Commissioner Roger Goodell – reinstated.

Judges Denny Chin and Barrington D. Parker ruled in favour of the league, while Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann ruled for Brady.

Federal judge Richard M. Berman nullified the four-game ban in September due to “legal deficiencies” in the Goodell-led investigation into allegations that footballs were below regulation minimum pressure levels during the Patriots’ 45-7 thrashing of Indianapolis Colts during the 2015 AFC Championship Game.

The Patriots went on to defeat Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in a dramatic Super Bowl XLIX showdown, with Brady collecting his second MVP award.

This week’s decision reverses Judge Berman’s nullification of the suspension

“We are pleased the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today that the Commissioner properly exercised his authority under the collective bargaining agreement to act in cases involving the integrity of the game,” the NFL said afterwards in a statement.

“That authority has been recognized by many courts and has been expressly incorporated into every collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and (the NFL Players Assocation) for the past 40 years.”

The NFL Players Association, which represented Brady, remained defiant, releasing this statement after the decision was handed down:

“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.”

Unless the Brady and the NFLPA appeals the ruling again, the New England linchpin will miss his team’s first four matches of the 2016-17 season.

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