The Federal District Court in Manhattan has overturned Tom Brady’s four game suspension by National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell. Judge Richard Berman released a forty page ruling that narrowed the focus of the proceedings to the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the player’s union.
The decision concerned itself with the question of whether the agreement gives NFL commissioner Goodell the authority to levy such a suspension and whether Brady was ill treated as he attempted to appeal his suspension according to the New York Times. The New England Patriots quarterback is one of the league’s premier stars with four Super Bowl championships in his long and illustrious career. Brady is now expected to take the starting helm for the Patriots’ opener on September 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brady was originally suspended for having been suspected of improperly deflating footballs during January’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. This is considered a major setback to Goddell’s authority. The NFL has declared that it will appeal the decision but not take any legal action to prevent Brady from playing in the Patriots’ opening game on next Thursday.
Judge Berman’s ruling further stated that Brady was given little notice of the potential penalty that might occur for the action for which the league had accused him. The judge also ruled that the league intentionally denied Brady the access needed to certain league files that would help exonerate him. Brady had always denied the accusations and publicly stated that he had no knowledge that any footballs were being underinflated. In addition to the four game suspension, Goodell had declared that the Patriots would pay a $1 million fine and lose two draft picks.