Appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Richard M. Berman, Judge). Following an investigation, the National Football League imposed a four‐game suspension on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. The suspension was based on a finding that he participated in a scheme to deflate footballs used during the 2015 American Football Conference Championship Game to a pressure below the permissible range. Brady requested arbitration and League Commissioner Roger Goodell, serving as arbitrator, entered an award confirming the discipline. The parties sought judicial review and the district court vacated the award based upon its finding of fundamental unfairness and lack of notice. The League has appealed.
We hold that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness. Accordingly, we REVERSE the judgment of the district court and REMAND with instructions to confirm the award.
Will the entire Second Circuit review? Will the US Supreme Court intervene? Either en banc or Supreme Court review are very rare.