Return of Deflategate: How did fans react to the new ruling?

Fans expressed their disappointment across social media platforms on Monday after a federal appeals court ruling that upheld football star Tom Brady's four-game suspension. 

Mary Altaffer/AP Photo/File
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (r.) leaves federal court in New York. A federal appeals court ruled on April 25, 2016, that New England Patriots Tom Brady must serve a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL, overturning a lower judge and siding with the league in a battle with the players union.

Both fans and foes had a lot to say after a federal appeals court ruled to uphold Tom Brady’s four-game suspension on Monday.

Mr. Brady's legal troubles started after allegations that Brady was aware that the majority of the game balls in the 2015 AFC championship game between the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts were underinflated.

The National Football League (NFL) initially suspended Brady without pay for four games, but in September 2015, Judge Richard M. Berman ruled that Tom Brady's suspension should be vacated on the grounds that Brady had neither adequate access to investigative files, nor proper notice of his potential suspension.

For months, fans of the Patriots had contested the suspension, debating the physics of "Deflategate" and the potential motivations for cheating. The September ruling delighted many.

At that time, fans took to Twitter and other social media to express their glee, tweeting their affection for Brady, creating memes, and otherwise showing their love for New England's quarterback.

One Twitter user tweeted of Judge Berman, who decided the case, "You the real MVP." Another user stated that "you can't deny his [Tom Brady's] greatness."

Immediately, however, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell chose to appeal the decision. On Monday, Judge Barrington Parker ruled that arbitration proceedings against Brady had indeed met the standards set forth by the Labor Management Relations Act.

Now, it appears Mr. Goodell and fellow Brady-haters (as New England's fans see their enemies) have won. Tom Brady will be sitting out four games of the coming season.

"I am very disappointed by the NFL's decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me," wrote Brady in a statement posted on Facebook last night. "I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either."

Fans reacted negatively to the decision, in much the same way that they reacted positively to the court's decision in September. Some users created memes to express their disappointment.

One Boston sports bar called for a Roger Goodell ban in the city of Boston.

Not everybody was upset by the ruling, however. Some of Brady's detractors even created happy memes.

Yet there seemed to be more support for the famous quarterback than support for Goodell. Even political figures showed their feelings on the matter after Monday's ruling.

Sen. Harry Reid (D) of Nevada felt strongly about Deflategate, coming out in support of Brady in a press conference today.

One of Brady's best known fans also had something to say.

"First of all let's start by saying leave Tom Brady alone. Leave him alone. Leave him alone he's a great guy," said Donald Trump at a rally in Rhode Island on Monday. "It's enough. It's enough."

Others just seemed tired of all the fuss, expressing exasperation that the process has continued this long.

Patriots fans who have gone along for the ride can rest easy, however, in the knowledge that the man himself is grateful for their meme-crafting, tweet-writing, Goodell-banning efforts. 

"I am overwhelmed and humbled by the support of family, friends and our fans who have supported me since the false accusations were made after the AFC Championship game," wrote Brady in a post last night. "I look forward to the opportunity to resume playing with my teammates and winning more games for the New England Patriots."

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