Judge vacates Tom Brady's suspension; NFL appeals

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady leaves federal court Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

The NFL has appealed a judge's decision to nullify New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's four-game suspension for 'Deflategate. Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement after the surprise ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Berman Thursday and after more than one month of failed settlement talks between the NFL and its players' union. 

In a written statement, Goodell said the league was appealing the "ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game."

Many legal experts believed the judge was merely pressuring the sides to settle when he criticized the NFL's handling of the case at two hearings in August. But the judge wasn't posturing.


He came out forcefully in Brady's favor, maligning the NFL for its handling of the scandal that erupted after the AFC championship game in January, when officials discovered during the first half that Brady used underinflated footballs. New England beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 then won the Super Bowl two weeks later.

"Because there was no notice of a four-game suspension in the circumstances presented here, Commissioner Goodell may be said to have 'dispensed his own brand of industrial justice,"' Judge Berman wrote.

An NFL investigation led to Brady's suspension, which Goodell upheld.

With the Associated Press