Count David Ortiz among those that were happy to see justice prevail in favor of Tom Brady.
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman ruled in favor of the New England Patriots quarterback, erasing the four-game suspension for the Deflategate controversy that the NFL claimed threatened the integrity of the league.
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Berman concluded that the suspension was “premised upon several significant legal deficiencies,” noting that Brady was not given notice that he could receive a four-game suspension for general awareness of football deflation. The judge also said that Brady was denied equal access to investigative files, including witness interview notes, and was not given the opportunity to examine NFL executive vice president Jeff Pash.
While the NFL argued that Roger Goodell wields ultimate power to enforce any punishment he sees fit, Berman countered that the commissioner must still uphold a fair and unbiased process. Clearly that wasn’t being followed, which Berman hinted at by repeatedly putting the word “independent” in quotes when referencing the Wells Report that served as the backbone of the league’s investigation.
As social media exploded once news broke of Brady’s suspension being overturned, Ortiz was quick to jump in by showing support for his friend. The Boston Red Sox slugger tweeted a photo of himself standing beside the Super Bowl winning quarterback, with each of them carrying the championship trophy won by their respective teams. Ortiz captioned the photo by saying “Got our qb back!!! S.o 2 tom brady.”
This isn’t the first time that Ortiz has shown support for Brady. When the topic of Deflategate came up in the Red Sox clubhouse back in May, Ortiz took the opportunity to defend the Patriots quarterback against those seeking to smear Brady’s pristine reputation.
"“I don’t think it will do anything to his legacy,” Ortiz told reporters at the time, according to the Boston Herald. “I really don’t. Brady is on another level, you know? He knows he’s our hero. He knows we are behind him all the way.”"
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Ortiz is no stranger to controversy, having been linked in the past to the steroid scandal that rocked Major League Baseball. Clearly he can sympathize with an athlete in Brady’s position who has had his integrity questioned, despite a complete lack of concrete evidence that they were involved in any wrongdoing.
Ortiz and Brady are both icons in the Boston sports scene. Both are champions, leaders and respected veterans of their respective sports.
Patriots fans have plenty of reason to rejoice over the news of this ruling. Other NFL players may be pleased to see that the NFLPA managed a significant victory over Goodell, which may lead to a new precedence that could help them or their teams in the future. Berman’s decision has no direct effect on a baseball player like Ortiz, but the Red Sox designated hitter knows that Brady represents the city of Boston, just as he does.
A win for Brady is a win for the city and all of the New England area.