×

Tom Brady’s ‘Deflategate’ Suspension Tossed

In good news for the NFL’s broadcast partners, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension from the league for his role in “Deflategate” has been nullified.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard M. Berman ruled in Brady’s favor on Thursday, allowing him to start for the Patriots in week one of the NFL season. The Patriots will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers in their Sept. 10 opening game, to be televised nationally by NBC.

CBS also has to be pleased by the ruling, as its late-afternoon doubleheader game between the Patriots and Dallas Cowboys on Oct. 11 will now feature Brady.

Thursday’s ruling is a major setback for the NFL, which is expected to appeal the decision. The Manhattan federal court judge reversed a ruling by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to bench Brady in a dispute over under-inflated balls he used in January’s AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Berman wrote in his opinion that Goodell’s handling of Brady’s case was “fundamentally unfair” and was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies.”

As for what the NFL called Brady’s “general awareness” of any misconduct, Berman said “Brady had no notice that such conduct was prohibited or any reasonable certainty of potential discipline stemming from such conduct.” He ruled that Brady couldn’t have known he risked a four-game suspension, especially since tampering with equipment normally just warrants a fine.

Berman didn’t rule on whether Brady tampered with the footballs, but whether Goodell had the authority to carry out the suspension.

Berman intervened when the NFL and the NFL Players Assn. couldn’t craft a deal after a month of closed-door talks and two previous court appearances.

 

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content