Tom Brady’s "Deflategate" Still At Large
I’m sure you all remember the story — in the January 2015 playoffs, the New England Patriots, specifically quarterback Tom Brady, was accused of deflating footballs to give the team an advantage that many deemed unfair.
Originally, Brady was given a four game suspension (which would start the following season), something that didn’t sit well with him or his team.
So, without much surprise, he fought back.
However, on Wednesday, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals completely rejected any and all past conversations, firmly stating that Brady will need to serve this four game suspension.
The court met in Manhattan and “issued a one-sentence rejection of requests by the National Football League Players Association and Brady to reconsider an April decision that found that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acted within his powers by suspending the star quarterback for his role in a scheme to doctor footballs used in a January 2015 playoff game,” according to ESPN.
In a statement from the NFLPA on Wednesday:
“We are disappointed with the decision denying a rehearing, as there were clear violations of our collective bargaining agreement by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell … Despite today’s results, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game. We have a broken system that must be fixed … We will review all of our options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady and all NFL players.”
This decision came after Brady and the players’ association requested a three-judge panel reconsider the deflategate case, which obviously didn’t go in their favor.
The ruling was 2-1 in affirmation of the suspension, and the NFL has yet to comment.
So what now?
In order to have yet another hearing, Brady would have to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Which, yes, sounds ridiculous, but it’s where he has ended up.
However, according to the legal team behind Brady, this denied appeal was expected. As far as next steps go, there is no information. Yet. According to them, no decision has been made. Whether or not that’s true, we’ll find out soon enough.
Regardless, the Patriots’ first game is September 11 in Arizona. And whether or not Brady is there, they will be playing.
Ready to step in just in case is backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who would also play in the following games against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Buffalo Bills.
And even with this probably suspension, the Patriots are expected to go into this season with a 6-1 record, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook even favors them to go all the way to the Super Bowl. And that’s even with the current deflategate scandal.
Brady has also signed an extension that strategically moves money around so that he won’t be losing much money should the suspension go into effect. Go figure.
His expected first game will be during Week 5 of the regular season against the Cleveland Browns.
The scandal currently surrounding Brady began as a simple accusation in the 2015 AFC Championship Game, but has since grown into a multimillion-dollar legal issue spanning over three NFL seasons.
Yes, something as simple as the amount of air pressure in footballs can begin such a taxing — laughable to those not involved — process.
But that’s exactly what happened — what’s still happening — and it’s all because of a rumor that turned into fact on January 18 of 2015, when the league tested the footballs provided by the Patriots during that championship game and found them under-inflated.
However, this isn’t the first time the Patriots have been accused of cheating.
Back in 2007, an illegal videotaping scheme (known as “Spygate” — no, I didn’t make up the name myself) resulted in the Patriots being penalized. So this current suspension is a touchy subject for the organization.
And to top it all off, they might lose their star player for four games, taint their NFL dynasty and undermine their legitimacy as a four-time, Super Bowl championship team.
Three months of analysis concluded that the Patriots intentionally under-inflated the balls, and Brady had to have been aware, if not directly involved.
To add to the burn, the NFL fined the team $1 million and took away two of their draft picks.
And since then, this scandal has been quite a rollercoaster. Brady appealed to the league, but the decision was affirmed. He then appealed to a federal court where the decision was overturned. However, the league appealed to the 2nd Circuit, who reinstated the four game suspension.
Now the last line of defense for Brady is the Supreme Court, which is extremely unlikely.
Then again, so was the hearing from the 2nd Circuit, so who knows what’s to come in this never-ending scandal.
But despite the drama, New England fans stand behind their quarterback and their team, and in the end, that’s all that really matters.
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