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Federal judge nullifies Tom Brady's DeflateGate suspension; NFL to appeal

By Tomas Monzon and Doug G. Ware
Federal judge nullifies Tom Brady's DeflateGate suspension; NFL to appeal
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) warms up before the game with New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans August 22, 2015. His four-game suspension for the DeflateGate scandal has been nullified. File photo by AJ Sisco/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- A Manhattan federal judge Thursday nullified NFL star Tom Brady's four-game suspension over the DeflateGate scandal.

Judge Richard Berman announced the decision after the players' union and the league failed to reach a settlement.

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The league had suspended Brady after determining he and two New England Patriots equipment managers had plotted to deflate footballs before the AFC championship game in January.

Brady insisted no one employed by the Patriots was involved in any wrongdoing. The nullification means Brady will be able to play with the Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers in one week.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, however, has said the league will appeal the judge's decision.

"We are grateful to Judge Berman for hearing this matter, but respectfully disagree with today's decision," Goodell said. "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."

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The NFL said it will not seek a stay to keep Brady from playing during the appeals process.

The NFL season begins Sept. 10 when the defending champions, the New England Patriots, play the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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