Tom Brady's 'Deflategate' Suspension Reinstated By Appeals Court

Apr 25, 2016
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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Deflategate is the NFL story that just keeps on giving. A federal court panel ruled today the NFL commissioner did have the right to suspend Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for four games. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Tom Brady's back-and-forth legal case is back again. He was suspended after the NFL decided it was more probable than not Brady ordered balls deflated below the legal limit during the 2015 AFC Championship game. Then in September, a federal judge overturned the suspension. Then today, a federal appeals court voted 2 to 1 to uphold the suspension, giving the NFL a massive win according to Tulane sports law professor Gabe Feldman.

GABE FELDMAN: Although there was a dissenting opinion, the majority opinion was about as favorable for the NFL as they could possibly have expected.

GOLDMAN: Feldman says the decision ends a losing streak for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in recent cases of player misconduct.

FELDMAN: In each of those cases, the commissioner's initial discipline was either eliminated or reduced by an arbitrator or a federal judge.

GOLDMAN: But today's ruling essentially says Goodell did not exceed the scope of his power, power the league says was negotiated as part of the current collective bargaining agreement. No word on a possible Brady appeal - if the suspension holds, Brady would miss the first four games of the regular season. Tom Goldman, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.