Tom Brady to Appeal 4-Game 'Deflategate' Suspension
Tom Brady will appeal Monday for a second hearing before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in regard to his four-game suspension amid the long-running “Deflategate” football-tampering controversy.
The New England Patriots quarterback will file a petition en banc, so that his case will be heard before all judges of the court. Seven of the 13 judges must sign off on the format in order for the session to be held – if it isn’t granted, Brady and his legal team could take the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, reports ABC News.
Judges usually take 4-6 weeks to determine whether an en banc appeal will be heard and the probability of the session being granted is extremely low, reports The Boston Globe.
The filing comes as no surprise after Second Circuit judges reinstated the athlete’s four-game suspension in a 2-1 decision on April 25.
“The facts here are so drastic and so apparent that the court should rehear it,” NFL Players Association attorney Theodore B. Olson told ABC News.
The “Deflategate” controversy started when the Indianapolis Colts accused the New England Patriots of using underinflated footballs during the AFC championship game in the 2014 season. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down the initial four-game suspension for Brady’s part in allegedly deflating the balls.
In September a judge overturned the suspension, saying that the NFL’s disciplinary action was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies.”
The April panel decision, which affirmed Roger Goodell’s power to hand down Brady’s punishment under the collective bargaining agreement, is a point of contention for Brady’s legal team. His attorneys will reportedly argue a rehearing on the basis that the reinstatement conflicts with Supreme Court decisions and other appeals courts decisions, reports USA Today.
Olson says Brady’s legal team will file the appeal later Monday after receiving a two-week extension from the initial May 9 deadline.
“Our two primary arguments are that the commissioner in the first place conducted an investigation and then the commissioner imposed discipline. Then the commissioner appointed himself as an appellate judge or an arbitrator and then decided something new in the appellate process abandoning the grounds that were the original basis for the supposed discipline,” Olson told ABC News.
He added, “That’s No. 1, and an appellate judge is supposed to look at the record and make a decision on the basis of what happened before. Secondly he ignored important provisions of the CBA about discipline that might be imposed for equipment violations. He departed from that completely and went off the track.”
If the suspension holds, Brady will miss the first four games of the 2016 season and will make his season-debut against the Cleveland Browns in October.