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Tom Brady Defeats the NFL; Judge Lifts Suspension

After defeating the rest of the league in 2014, Tom Brady opened the 2015 season by triumphing over the NFL itself.

Federal Judge Richard Berman decided in favor of the New England Patriots quarterback in the Deflategate case. The NFL had suspended the Super Bowl MVP for four games for a “general awareness” of a “more probable than not” scheme to play with insufficiently inflated balls in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Ironically, the federal judge found that the NFL broke its own collective-bargaining agreement rules in pursuing a suspected rule-breaker and conducted the investigation with excessive secrecy despite Commissioner Roger Goodell charging Brady with just that offense in destroying an old cell phone.

“The Court is fully aware of the deference afforded to arbitral decisions, but, nevertheless, concludes that the Award should be vacated,” Berman ruled. “The Award is premised upon several significant legal deficiencies, including (A) inadequate notice to Brady of both his potential discipline (four-game suspension) and his alleged misconduct; (B) denial of the opportunity for Brady to examine one of two lead investigators, namely NFL Executive Vice President and General Counsel Jeff Pash; and (C) denial of equal access to investigative files, including witness interview notes.”
The decision assures that the Super Bowl MVP starts in the NFL’s opening game when the New England Patriots take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 10.

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