The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in place gives NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell the right to suspend Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. That’s according to the 2nd US Court of Appeals that reversed an earlier federal court decision to toss Brady’s 4-game suspension. Goodell’s only requirement is that in using his personal discretion he determines that actions by Brady have hurt the NFL brand/league. Therefore even the appearance of impropriety by Brady in the Deflategate scandal was enough to trigger the suspension. Or as the decision says, and conduct “detrimental to the integrity of, or public confidence, in the game of professional football.”
“Our review of the records yields the firm conclusion that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion to resolve an intramural controversy between the League and a player,” reads the decision, using the word intramural to emphasize that this was an in-house decision by Goodell. Basically, his call — with wide latitude according to the CBA. That thing about public confidence in the sport? Outside of Patriots nation, Brady didn’t do much for that public confidence in professional football when he admitted destroying his phone.