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A federal judge erased New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s four-game suspension Thursday for the Deflategate controversy that the NFL claimed threatened football’s integrity.

U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell went too far in affirming punishment of the Super Bowl-winning quarterback, criticizing him for dispensing “his own brand of industrial justice.” Brady has insisted he played no role in a conspiracy to deflate footballs below the allowable limit at last season’s AFC Championship Game.

The league appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan with a one-page notice from NFL attorney Daniel Nash. The league did not seek an emergency stay, freeing Brady to play while an appeals court considers the case. That could take months since the league would have to show it would suffer irreparable harm to speed up the timetable.

 

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