In what seemed to be a never-ending affair as the matter has dragged for 3 seasons, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan has rejected the National football league players Association (NFLPA) and New England Patriots star quarterback Tom Brady’s appeal against the April judgment given by a three judge bench over the Deflategate issue. The court upheld the 2nd circuit court of appeals judgment of a four game ban being imposed against Tom Brady.
The NFLPA and Tom Brady in their appeal stipulated to a rehearing on an en banc judgment against the three judge bench judgment given in the month of April, which meant the case would be heard by all the judges of the court and not by a panel of judges selected for them. The second request in the appeal was overturning the April judgment, which upheld the four game ban against Brady. The April decision overturned a lower courts judgment and affirmed the decision taken by the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
It is pertinent to note here that, an en banc judgment is usually referred in rare of the rarest cases, where there is a grave question of the law. So, a rejection was inevitable. And not to forget the earlier judgments and the 2nd circuits leaning towards the ownership and management rather than the players union
The April Judgment also found that the NFL commissioner Roger Goodell acted within his powers in suspending the New England star quarterback which at that time was alleged to be a part of doctoring the Footballs used during the AFC championship game in the 2014-15 season. The players union however have contradicted to the facts and termed the commissioners decision as biased and not in good faith.
Tom Brady has announced that he will not be pursuing the matter any further and will not be appealing against the four game ban in the Supreme court after discussing the matter with the players Association and the other people close to him. However, the NFLPA will be lurking out for options in regards to further appealing in the Supreme Court. The NFLPA made a press release stating: -
“The NFL Players Association is a labor Union that protects the rights of all of its members and pursues any violations of those rights by any means necessary. We are disappointed with the decision denying a rehearing, as there were clear violations of our collective bargaining agreement by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell. Despite today’s result, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game. We have a broken system that must be fixed. We will review all of our options carefully on behalf of Tom Brady and all NFL players.”
So what lies next in front of the NFLPA? If they went for an appeal a limitation period of 90 days stands, wherein an appeal should be filed within 90 days of the 2nd circuits ruling. Second and the most important of all, the appeal getting admitted, as there is a relatively very low or a marginal chance for the case to be heard in the Supreme Court. The 2nd circuits decision comes under the review of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it will be interesting to see how the appeal turns out if the NFLPA went for it.