After the NFL suspended Tom Brady for four games as a part of his involvement with the "Deflategate" "scandal," Brady took the only action the NFL permits players to take when they disagree with their assigned punishment: he headed to United States district court!
On Thursday, Judge Richard Berman issued his ruling: Tom Brady's suspension will be reversed. Assuming the NFL's appeal fails or they choose not to appeal at all, Brady will be eligible to start week 1 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
You can read the full ruling below:
As Deadspin (and many others) point out, Berman isn't ruling on whether Brady deflated or had knowledge of the balls being deflated, but rather "the legality of the NFL’s investigatory and disciplinary procedures."
Essentially, the NFL messed up the process of suspending Brady, by failing to inform him of the punishment and refusing to share witness notes; the court was not ruling on the validity of the punishment itself.
It's certainly yet another blow to the NFL's authority (it's become a habit of losing these cases in federal court), and that's the most important takeaway.
But an unexamined factor here is this signifies the likely end of the Tom Brady courtroom sketch saga. We'll never forget.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.