Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Deflategate again.

The following headline appeared on today.

Patriots QB Tom Brady has Deflategate appeal denied by 2nd U.S. Circuit Court

Literally, this headline is correct. However it is misleading.  The Circuit Court did deny Brady's appeal. However, what it denied was the request to hear the case.  The substance of Brady's claims regarding Deflategate was not rejected. The court decided not to hear the substance of the claims.

Just to be clear of the evolution here.  

  1. Goodell made a decision.  In my opinion and in the opinion of many others it was flawed for several reasons. 
  2. Brady appealed the decision. 
  3. Goodell acted as the appellate arbiter and denied the appeal.  
  4. Brady appealed arguing that the appellate decision was flawed if for no other reason (and there were several other reasons) that the judge for an appeal should not be the same person who rendered the initial verdict.  
  5. A judge heard the arguments from Brady and his lawyers and decided that even though Goodell has the right to serve as judge and appellate judge under the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Goodell had unfairly exercised both of these responsibilities.  He ruled that  that while there is a great deal of latitude in terms of what can be considered fair, Goodell's behavior was beyond even liberal parameters.  So Brady's suspension was revoked
  6. The NFL appealed that decision saying, in essence, that the CBA allowed him to do whatever he wanted. Consequently since Goodell did indeed do what he wanted, there could be no rejection of his actions.  
  7. A three court tribunal listened to the NFL and agreed with Goodell by a vote of 2-1.  
    1. NOTE these important facts. 
      1. The tribunal did NOT agree that Goodell was fair. 
      2. It did NOT agree that Brady was complicit.
      3.  It agreed that under the CBA Goodell can do what he wanted.
  8. Brady then requested that the 2nd court of appeals, in its entirety, listen to the appeal. 
  9. The court today said, in one sentence, that they would not hear the case.  Again, NOTE, they did not deny the legitimacy of Brady's case.  They upheld the ruling that Goodell was entitled, under the CBA, to do whatever he wanted to do. 
Therefore, any claim that another group of arbiters has now agreed that Brady was complicit is innacurate.   

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