And the ban-hammer has finally swung for the final time from Rodger Goodell, who had his final day in court, resulting in an appeals court upholding his ban of Tom Brady for the first four games of the 2016 NFL season.
In a ruling that was decide 2-1, the federal US Court of Appeals in New York found that the commissioner acted within his power to ban Brady last year.
After numerous court challenges and a win in the lower courts, Brady lost where it really counts: in the appeals courts. The judges concurred that Goodell was within his commissioning power and that of the collective bargaining agreement for the punishment he handed down.
“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,” the court ruled.
“Accordingly we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to confirm the award.”
If Brady’s suspension is upheld for the first four games, he’ll miss games against the Cardinals, the Dolphins, the Texas and the Bills.
Now it may not all be over just yet. Brady does have the option of appealing the ruling. But the leading experts say that it would not likely change the outcome in the end.
It all started when the Patriots were accused of deflating footballs during the 2015 AFC Championship game against the Colts. This led to a long and drawn out court and media battle between the Patriots, their owner Robert Craft and Tom Brady.
A third-party investigation concluded that Brady was “generally aware” that the balls were being tampered with. It also concluded that he was unhelpful to investigators in the aftermath.
“We are pleased the court 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 an issued 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.”
Could this be the final conclusion to much drama? What do you think about Tom Brady’s suspension? Do you think it was fair or unfair? Let us know in your comments.