Tom Brady 'Deflategate' Suspension Overturned

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves Federal court in New York in April. (Richard Drew/AP)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves Federal court in New York in April. (Richard Drew/AP)

A federal judge in New York dealt the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell a major blow: overturning Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his alleged role in "Deflategate."

The NFL had charged that Brady was at least "generally aware" of a scheme to under-inflate footballs in the AFC championship game back in January.

But Judge Richard Berman said the NFL could not suspend Brady for "general awareness" of other people's conduct, and he identified a number of other legal deficiencies in the league's case.

The NFL says it will appeal the ruling, but for now, Brady can suit up and play the season opener against the Steelers next Thursday.


Jeffrey Kessler, partner at Winston & Strawn in New York who serves as the head of the global antitrust/competition practice and co-chairs the sports law practice group.

David Cornwell, partner at Barnes & Thornburg in Atlanta who has represented NFL players, and former legal counsel for the NFL. He tweets @wmdavidcornwell.

Shira Springer, investigative and enterprise reporter for the Sports section of The Boston Globe. She tweets @ShiraSpringer.


AP: Judge Lets Tom Brady Play, Ruling Against NFL In ‘Deflategate’

  • "The suspension was 'premised upon several significant legal deficiencies,' including the failure to notify Brady of potential penalties, Berman wrote in his opinion, noting that an arbitrator’s factual findings are generally not open to judicial challenge."

WBUR's Cognoscenti: Roger Goodell’s Greatest Con? How The NFL Wins Even By Losing DeflateGate

  • "The point is that by building and sustaining what has come to be known as “DeflateGate,” Commissioner Goodell has kept his game in the news throughout the season during which nobody plays it."

This segment aired on September 3, 2015.


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