Tom Brady’s Suspension

Posted by Mike Bocchino.

Tom Brady has been accused of knowing about his team deflating footballs in the 2015 AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The footballs’ air pressure had been significantly reduced to a point where other players could tell the difference. The NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, investigated and suspended Brady for knowing about the tampering of the footballs. Brady fought the suspension in federal district court and his lawyers persuaded the judge. He ruled that Brady did not need to serve his suspension because it was an unfair punishment for just being accused of knowing about the deflation.

The commissioner then took the case to the court of appeals where they did not look at the facts of whether or not Brady deflated the ball, but rather whether or not Goodell was able to cast such a punishment on a player. They looked solely at whether Goodell, as arbitrator, acted in the spirit of the collective bargaining agreement. Judges Barrington Daniels Parker Jr. and Denny Chin wrote in their opinion, “We hold that the commissioner properly exercised this 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. Accordingly, we reverse the judgment of the district court and remand with instructions to confirm the award.”

Basically they agree that the commissioner acted on the powers which he, the league, and the players union had all agreed upon in 2011. So those of you out there saying that Goodell has too much power, the players agreed to what he can and cannot do. Plus, the tampering of footballs is cheating and this is not the first time that Brady had been caught cheating, never mind countless times that he did not get caught. It was only a matter of time.

But overall, the court of appeals did a great job looking at whether or not Roger Goodell stepped over the line or acted within his range of duties and whether or not it was the best interest of the league, which it was.

Mike is business administration major with a concentration in finance at the Feliciano School of Business, Montclair State University, Class of 2018.