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The 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Tom Brady must serve his four-game Deflategate suspension brought upon by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The court ruled in a 2-1 decision, stating 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.” Brady and his lawyers have not accepted the suspension yet and are still considering other options. One of those options could include appealing this ruling and taking this to the Supreme Court. The case is no longer about air pressure. It is about the power Goodell has over the rest of the NFL. Brady, a four-time Super Bowl Champion and three-time MVP, is getting the same suspension that Ray Rice got when he punched his wife in 2014. The ruling allows Goodell to have complete say over any ruling that he puts on a player, no matter what it is.
This court case is going to lead the NFL Players Association to redefine the Commissioner’s powers in the years to come. The Patriots will have to rely on backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the first four games of the year. The Patriots open the season in Arizona against the Cardinals, then home against the Miami Dolphins, the Buffalo Bills, and the Houston Texans. Brady would be eligible to return Week 5 against the Browns if he serves the suspension.
Trevor Nataupsky ’19 is a sports writer for The Hub. He can be followed on Twitter at @TheBigTuna511.