Brady loses Deflategate appeal, suspension stands

Wed Jul 13, 2016 1:13pm EDT
 
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By Joseph Ax and Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - New England Patriots star Tom Brady on Wednesday lost a bid to have a U.S. appeals court reconsider his four-game suspension, in what could be the quarterback's last chance to avoid punishment over the "Deflategate" scandal.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said it would not review its April 25 decision to reinstate Brady's suspension by the National Football League over deflated footballs.

If it stands, the suspension imposed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell would force Brady, who turns 39 next month and was twice the league's most valuable player, to miss the first four games of the season beginning in September.

It would also end an 18-month saga that had become a major distraction for the NFL, which also faces criticism over player safety and the link between football and concussions.

The request for a rehearing by Brady and the National Football League Players Association had been considered a long shot because the appeals court rarely grants them.

Brady can still appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but it accepts to review only a small fraction of cases it considers.

The players union in a statement said it was disappointed by the order and will review its legal options, while maintaining that there were "clear violations" by the NFL and Goodell of their collective bargaining agreement.

"Despite today's result, the track record of this League office when it comes to matters of player discipline is bad for our business and bad for our game," the union said. "We have a broken system that must be fixed."   Continued...

 
Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) reacts before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo