Here’s a sports scandal that just won’t quit.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady could be suspended after all, following 2015’s football-tampering “Defaltegate.” An appeals court ruled on Monday to reinstate the star QB’s suspension for four games, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down the initial four-game suspension for Brady’s part in allegedly deflating footballs for an unfair advantage during an AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.
In September, a judge had overturned the four-game suspension, saying that the NFL’s disciplinary action was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies.”
CNN reports that in Monday’s ruling, the majority of the federal appeals court panel said it believed that Goodell “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.”
“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 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 NFLPA for the past 40 years.”
The Patriots had no official comment when reached by ESPN.
According to Around the NFL, “Brady still has legal recourse, and might seek a stay on the decision which would allow him to operate normally while the decision backs its way through the court system again.”
But NFL Network legal analyst Gabe Feldman says appeals are rarely granted in cases of this kind.
“Tom Brady is almost out of [legal] chances,” Feldman said Monday on NFL Network. “Never say never, but again, I think it’s certainly much more likely than not that Tom Brady ends up serving that full four-game suspension at this point.”