New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady must serve a four-game "Deflategate" suspension imposed by the NFL, a federal appeals court ruled Monday, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union.Some nonsense about Donald Trump pretending to care eliminate for brevity.
A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled 2-to-1 that Commissioner Roger Goodell did not deprive Brady of "fundamental fairness" with his procedural rulings. The split decision may end the legal debate over the scandal that led to months of football fans arguing over air pressure and the reputation of one of the league's top teams.
In a majority opinion written by Judge Barrington D. Parker, the 2nd Circuit said its review of labor arbitration awards "is narrowly circumscribed and highly deferential — indeed, among the most deferential in the law."Sounds reasonable to me. And I hope the court made the league and players union (or Brady) pay every stitch of the court costs, and more, for making them take the time to decide for them. I
"Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all. Nor is it our role to second-guess the arbitrator's procedural rulings," the opinion said. "Our obligation is limited to determining whether the arbitration proceedings and award met the minimum legal standards established by the Labor Management Relations Act."
The 2nd Circuit said the contract between players and the NFL gave the commissioner authority that was "especially broad."Despite all the money that's being thrown around, it's just a game, dammit!
"Even if an arbitrator makes mistakes of fact or law, we may not disturb an award so long as he acted within the bounds of his bargained-for authority," the court said.
In a dissent, Chief Judge Robert Katzmann said Goodell failed to even consider a "highly relevant" alternative penalty.
"I am troubled by the Commissioner's decision to uphold the unprecedented four-game suspension," Katzmann said. "It is ironic that a process designed to ensure fairness to all players has been used unfairly against one player."
Wombat-socho has the giant "Rule 5 Sunday: Blue Shirt Double-Dip Edition" ready at The Other McCain.
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