NFL Loses Favor With Judge In ‘Deflategate’ Case

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Now facing scrutiny from a federal judge, the National Football League (NFL) returned to court Thursday in the hopes of working out a settlement in the Tom Brady suspension case.

The NFL and the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) have been at odds ever since Brady was suspended for four games May 11. The New England Patriots quarterback was accused of purposely using underinflated footballs against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC championship game. Tensions escalated July 28 when league Commissioner Roger Goodell decided to uphold the suspension after Brady appealed it.

“Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support‎, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs,” a statement from the NFL said.

The NFLPA, however, disagreed with the decision while arguing Goodell has too much power. The union noted at the time that the appeal should have been handled by an independent commission. Goodell has the authority to hear and resolve appeals in cases involving player misconduct.

The dispute eventually devolved into a legal battle with both sides filing a legal motion last Friday. In its motion the league asked U.S. District Judge Richard Berman to confirm the suspension while the union asked him not to. Berman met with league and union lawyers Wednesday.

“What is the direct evidence that implicates Mr. Brady?” Berman reportedly asked NFL lawyer Daniel L. Nash numerous times, according to the Boston affiliate of ABC News.

Nash, however, argued there was plenty of evidence against Brady. He argued there was records of text messages and phone calls showing Brady was involved and knew about the underinflated footballs.

Berman is being urged to resolve the dispute six days before the Patriots are to go up against the Steelers Sept. 10 at the start of the regular season.

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