Tom Brady Beats NFL, Judge Nullifies Four-Game Suspension

Judge Berman ruled in favor of Brady, nullifying his four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Photo via AP

Photo via AP

Update: Thursday, 12:29 p.m.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced he will appeal Judge Berman’s ruling in a statement:

We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision. We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.


Judge Richard M. Berman has ruled in favor of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the Deflategate case, nullifying the four-game suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Pending an appeal, Brady will start Week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Berman found that Goodell “was guilty of…refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy” and “dispensed his own brand of industrial justice,” even citing Goodell’s predecessor, Paul Tagliabue, who said there is no precedent in the NFL for suspending a player for interfering with a league investigation.

“The Court finds that Brady had no notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of ball deflation by others or participation in any scheme to deflate footballs, and non-cooperation with the ensuing Investigation,” Berman’s decision reads. “Brady also had no notice that his discipline would be the equivalent of the discipline imposed upon a player who used performance enhancing drugs.”

The likelihood of the NFL filing an injunction on Berman’s ruling is slim, says NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport. On Twitter, the Patriots had this to say:

The decision is the culmination of months of reports, rebuttals, and a passive-aggressive beer label proxy war. Please, please, please let it be over. You can read Berman’s decision below.

Deflategate Ruling