Photo via Keith Allison/Flickr (CC-BY-SA)
So, 18 months after the NFL accused Brady—perhaps the best quarterback in league history—of participating in a conspiracy to illegally deflate footballs and 14 months after the NFL suspended Brady for four games, he has officially given up the fight.
This is what Brady announced Friday after his appeal for that original punishment was rejected this week by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.Brady could have appealed again to the U.S. Supreme Court, but ultimately, he decided it wasn’t worth the extra challenge. He decided simply to toss away #Deflategate for good.
Last September, Brady had his suspension overturned by a judge for the entire 2015 season. But in April a three-judge panel ruled 2-1 that commissioner Roger Goodell did, in fact, have the power to punish Brady, as laid out by the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement with the player’s union. The appeals court this week ultimately agreed.
Even so, it seems like a majority of fans and observers on Twitter didn’t direct their anger at Brady. Instead, that emotion was squared up on the league and Goodell for continuing to try this case, for which there was not much, if any, actual evidence to tie Brady to the deflated balls. Otherwise, people were excited that Brady would get an extended vacation and/or pumped that this 18-month ordeal is complete.And, of course, now the NFL also has gotten exactly what it wanted. For better or for worse.