Tom Brady appeals 'Deflategate' ruling, extends fight with NFL

Mon May 23, 2016 4:48pm EDT
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By Joseph Ax

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on Monday asked a U.S. appeals court to reconsider its ruling reinstating his "Deflategate" four-game suspension, saying the decision runs contrary to federal labor law.

"The panel decision will harm not just NFL players, but all unionized workers who have bargained for appeal rights as a protection," his lawyers said in a motion filed with the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.

Brady, 38, was suspended after the National Football League (NFL) found underinflated footballs were used in the Patriots' 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015's AFC championship game.

The victory propelled the Patriots to the Super Bowl, where they beat the Seattle Seahawks, giving Brady his fourth title.

The NFL suspended Brady, twice the league's most valuable player, after a lawyer hired by the league to investigate the incident said the quarterback was "generally aware" two Patriots employees had conspired to deflate the balls, which could make them easier to grip.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the suspension in July, prompting a lawsuit from the players union. The quarterback has denied knowing about any plan to deflate footballs.

In a split 2-1 decision last month, a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a lower court's ruling that threw out his penalty.

On Monday, which was the deadline for an appeal, the union and Brady asked for an "en banc" review, in which the court's entire roster of 13 active judges would rehear the case.   Continued...

Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium.  REUTERS/Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports/File photo