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Tom Brady Accepts Four-Game Suspension
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Tom brady

Summary: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady announced that he will no longer fight the four-game suspension handed down from the deflategate scandal.

It seems like just last week the New England Patriots were winning the Super Bowl but it has now been almost 18 months since the game took place. This means the controversial “deflategate” scandal has been going on for just as long. Wednesday marked a big day for the fight between quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL.

  
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A U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied Brady’s petition to have his suspension case reheard. Now the only one that can make a ruling on the case is the U.S. Supreme Court. Brady has admitted defeat, saying he has “made the difficult decision to no longer proceed with the legal process.”

The case began on January 18, 2015 when reports came to light that the NFL was concerned over the use of “deflated footballs” by the Patriot team in the AFC Championship Game. A ball was removed from the field halfway through the game. Two days later, the NFL came forward to say that all 11 footballs used by the Patriots were underinflated.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick said on Jan. 22 that he had no knowledge of the footballs being deflated. Tom Brady also made a statement to the media on this day that he “would never do anything to break the rules.” Ted Wells was appointed to investigate the claims the next day.

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Read Appeals Court Reinstates Tom Brady’s Suspension.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft was upset about the allegations, denying any wrongdoing and seeking an apology from the NFL. Kraft said, “If the Wells investigation is not able to definitely determine that our organization tampered with the air pressure in the footballs, I would expect and hope the league would apologize to our entire team and in particular Coach Belichick and Tom Brady for what they have had to endure the last week.”



Fast forward a few weeks to May 6 when the Ted Wells Report was released. The report found that “it is more probable than not that Jim McNally and John Jastremski participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee…It is more probable than not that Tom Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”

The NFL wasted very little time in issuing a four game suspension without pay for Tom Brady. They claimed he violated the NFL policy on the integrity of the game. The NFL also fined the Patriots $1 million and took away their 2016 first-round and 2017 fourth-round positions in the NFL Draft.

See The Kraft Family, NFL Regulations and Casinos: A Curious Mix.

Since then the NFL has been fighting Tom Brady and the NFLPA over the report and resulting suspension. They went to court only to have Judge Richard M. Berman tell them to settle matters on their own. When they were unable to, Berman ruled and tossed the four-game suspension out. The NFL appealed.

On October 26, 2015, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals received an appeal from the NFL. The NFLPA filed their appeal of the NFL’s appeal on December 7, 2015. The NFL filed its final appeals brief in response.

A three-judge panel heard arguments on March 3, 2016. They focused many of their questions towards Brady’s attorney concerning the destruction of Brady’s cell phone. In the end, the Appeals Court reversed Berman’s ruling, reinstating Brady’s suspension. The majority opinion stated, “We hold that the commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness.”

After another month of appeals, the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals denied Brady’s request. Brady made his announcement that he was giving up the fight on his Facebook page. He will be eligible to return to the field against the Cleveland Browns on October 9.

Do you think the suspension was fair? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the Wells Report, read Tom Brady Suspension Thrown Out by Judge.

Photo: newyorker.com



 

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