WASHINGTON — Roger Goodell says the NFL will appeal Thursday’s federal ruling absolving New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady of punishment for his alleged role in the DeflateGate controversy.
U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said the NFL commissioner — who imposed a four-game suspension on Brady — went too far in affirming punishment of the quarterback.
Brady has insisted he played no role in a conspiracy to deflate footballs below the allowable limit at last season’s AFC championship game.
Goodell’s statement reads in full:
“We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today’s decision. We will appeal today’s ruling in order to uphold the collectively bargained responsibility to protect the integrity of the game. The commissioner’s responsibility to secure the competitive fairness of our game is a paramount principle, and the league and our 32 clubs will continue to pursue a path to that end. While the legal phase of this process continues, we look forward to focusing on football and the opening of the regular season.
Brady can now prepare for New England’s Sept. 10 season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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