New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will start the NFL season on schedule, after a federal judge overturned a four-game suspension that had been imposed by the league in response to the Deflategate controversy, The Associated Press reports.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said the punishment handed down by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was too harsh, and issued a written decision saying that Brady should prepare for the team's season opener on Sept. 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to the AP. Berman had previously encouraged both sides to reach a settlement about the case.
In his initial ruling, Goodell said Brady and members of the Patriots staff had compromised the league's integrity by knowingly using underinflated footballs in last year's AFC Championship Game. (The Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts in that game, and went on to win the Super Bowl.)
Goodell suspended Brady for four games after it was revealed that he destroyed his cell phone and its contents before being interviewed by the NFL about the controversy, which came to be known as "Deflategate."
Despite a report saying it was "more probable than not" that he knew about the footballs being altered, Brady has maintained his innocence, saying he did nothing wrong.
The players' union brought the case to Berman after Goodell upheld the suspension, calling his decision "a clearly biased agenda." The league can also appeal his latest ruling.
What do you think of Berman's ruling?