Prior to Judge Richard Berman overturning Tom Brady’s four-game suspension Thursday, the lynch pin behind the NFL’s case against the New England quarterback was that he was “generally aware” of nefarious activity on the part of Patriots locker attendants.
Unfortunately for Goodell and the league, “general awareness” ended up deciding the case in Brady’s favor. (RELATED: Judge Overturns Brady Suspension, Exonerates Greatest QB In NFL History)
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) September 3, 2015
With respect to “general awareness” of others’ misconduct — which is the principal finding in both the Wells Report and the Vincent Letter — Brady had no notice that such conduct was prohibited, or any reasonable certainty of potential discipline stemming from such conduct. The Court concludes that, as a matter of law, no NFL policy or precedent notifies that they may be disciplined (much less suspended) for general awareness of misconduct by others. And it does not appear that the NFL has ever, prior to this case, sought to punish players for such an alleged violation.
In summation, the NFL was trying to suspend Tom for something that no one ever had been punished for and wasn’t technically illegal, and the judge called the league out on its bullshit.
Chalk one up for the good guys.