A federal court ruled that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will have to serve his four game suspension handed down by the National Football League before last season on Monday morning in New York. The ruling comes after Brady’s appeal succeeded last season and he was allowed to play the entirety of the year.
The decision overturns the previous ruling from a lower court that Brady should not have been suspended for his role in Deflategate. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled with a three person panel and it was a 2-1 decision in favor of the NFL.
“Our review of the record yields the firm conclusion that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion.” the court said according to a tweet from ESPN NFL reporter Mike Reiss.
One of the circuit judges, Denny Chin, was on record saying that there was “overwhelming” evidence that there was ball tampering and that Brady was aware of it. Meanwhile, Judge Barrington Parker cited the destruction of Brady’s cellphone as a key point of evidence.
“Our role is not to determine for ourselves whether Brady participated in a scheme to deflate footballs or whether the suspension imposed by the Commissioner should have been for three games or five games or none at all.” Parker went on to say.
Chief judge Robert Katzmann was the only on the panel to disagree.
“I am troubled by the Commissioner’s decision to uphold the unprecedented four-game suspension,” Katzmann said in a statement on CNBC. “The Commissioner failed to even consider a highly relevant alternative penalty.”
Judge Richard Berman of a Manhattan court ruled in September of 2015 that Brady would not have to serve his suspension, siding with the NFL Players Association. He played the entire 2015 season and playoffs.
The second circuit, however, disagreed with Berman.
“Although it is our usual practice to allow the the district court to address arguments in the first instance, we choose to address the arguments here because they were fully briefed below and on appeal and because they are meritless,” the ruling states.
Brady and the NFL Players Association can file for a rehearing or appeal to the US Supreme Court. Jimmy Garoppolo, the Patriots only other quarterback, has yet to start an NFL game, and the Patriots do not have a first round draft pick, as a penalty to the organization for Deflategate. New England’s first four games of 2016 are against the Arizona Cardinals on the road, and at home against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, and Buffalo Bills.