A federal appeals court today did what many believed should have been done months ago: Declare that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady must serve a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL.
“We hold 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,” ruled the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The decision overturns a lower court judge who, unexpectedly according to most legal experts, sided with the player.
Unless Brady wants to appeal, which is an expensive proposition, this ends the legal debate over the scandal that rocked professional football. It is unlikely to change many minds on whether the NFL’s top star had requested underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game in January 2015.
Brady does have one presidential candidate clearly in his camp. Donald Trump started his campaign rally in Rhode Island today with, “leave Tom Brady alone!”
For non Patriots fans, which is most of the country, it will be nice to see Brady on the sidelines at the start of the season.