Essay on the “Deflate-Gate” Controversy

Published: 2021/11/22
Number of words: 2389


The deflate-gate scandal is one of the most recent developments that have caused controversy in the National Football League. On January 18th 2015, Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots had an AFC championship match that ended with Tom Brady stealing the show (A timeline of the Deflategate controversy, 2021). After the game, reports emerged that New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady had participated in deflating the balls before the game continued. According to arguments made in the investigations, Tom Brady conspired to ensure that the balls to be used have been deflated with a view of giving the New England Patriots an advantage. The case can be utilized as a way of informing practice on aspects that encompass the arbitration process. In most situations, arbitration is utilized as an approach that settles a conflict as illustrated in the deflate-gate controversy. It is also important to examine the federal court system and grounds for challenging an arbitration award. An examination of existing literature will prove strategic towards gaining a deeper understanding towards the arbitration process and aspects (Sanga, 2018). The appellate procedure for handling such cases is necessary towards understanding how the New England Patriots court trails are handled. There are three different types of arbitration that can be utilized to handle a case or reach a resolution in a case of a tribunal.

Case Facts

It is important to examine facts on the case and determine whether the process that was utilized towards settling the matter yielded fruit. The investigations indicated that quarterback Tom Brady had conspired with the Patriots’ locker room staff to deflate the balls before the game begun (Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal, 2021). It is important to note that each ball must be checked whether it is under-deflated so as to avoid giving one team an advantage. The NFL made several investigations and proved that indeed the balls were deflated to give New England Patriots an advantage in a game that Tom Brady stole the show (Perreault and Ferrucci, 2019). The investigations ascertained that McNally Jim, the team locker room attendant, had released air from the balls to make them under-deflated. It is important to note that the investigation report released highlights that team quarterback Tom Brad was at least aware of the happening. The NFL tribunal made a resolution to suspend the quarterback for four games and fined the club one million dollars for the same (A timeline of the Deflategate controversy, 2021). The club owner has since acknowledged that he’s ready to cooperate with investigations in a bid to get to the root of the matter.

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Under-inflated balls are easier to catch and throw as explained by scientists and the fact that e ach team uses its own set of balls during the game (Mandel, 2017). The balls were tested whether they are well inflated before the game and the locker room attendants must have taken part in deflating them. The report indicated that 11 of the 12 footballs that were used by New England Patriots had less than the minimum level of pressure that is mandated. The investigation checked the balls during the first half of the AFC championships in a bid to ascertain the claims raised (Perreault and Ferrucci, 2019). The tribunal resolved to punish the team and its quarterback as a way of being fair. Arbitration is the most strategic approach that can be used to handle such cases in a bid to reach an amicable solution. For instance, the team management had to give in to personnel interviews that were meant to explore the root cause of the matter (Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal, 2021). The New England Patriots team quarterback was punished after receiving a ban from involvement in the competition for 4 games. The club received a fine of $1 million dollars and an omission from two draft picks was the punishment presented by the NFL tribunal.

The uses and procedure of Arbitration

The process of handling the case began with the team owner acknowledging and cooperating with investigation authorities in a bid to gain an understanding and facts behind the controversy (Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal, 2021). It is important to note that arbitration is a conflict resolution approach that is widely applied by institutions and international companies to reach on a particular agreement that should be honored. For instance, the fact that the team employees and personnel submitted to interviews as a way of providing information on the controversy. The owner of the team agreed to the punishment leveled against the club, which included one million dollars fine and the team’s imminent from draft picks. It is important to note that the team’s quarterback was banned fro four games, but he has since appealed against the decision (A timeline of the Deflategate controversy, 2021). The punishment can be red8uced to two games depending on the outcome of the arbitration process. Each person in an arbitration process is supposed to respect the agreement and purpose to meet its conditions. In the international business, arbitrations are used as approaches that can solve a conflict considering both parties involved in the argument (What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Arbitration?, 2021). For instance, the negotiations between the club and investigative authorities indicate the need to apply the approach in reaching a resolution on a particular matter.

The process of arbitration involves two parties presenting their grievances to a third party or higher authorities that can help reach a solution. In most situations, arbitration procedures do not agree to handle such cases in a court of law hence the need to seek help from a third party (Mandel, 2017). The speed and informality involved in the process of arbitration illustrate why many companies and people in the world choose the approach over litigation. Going to court might attract higher charges and can lead to a dire punishment on the same (Mirer, Duncan and Wagner, 2018). In essence, the procedure used to handle the deflate-gate controversy is appropriate and has made the process of seeking a solution faster. The authorities had an option of using a court of law towards handling of the same case but resolved to use a tribunal that could seek an agreement on the same (What Are the Benefits and Drawbacks of Arbitration?, 2021). It is vital to note that litigation process could have been costly as more attorneys are involved when finding a solution. Arbitration guaranteed better avenues towards handling of the deflate-gate controversy that sparked interest from the NFL authorities.

It is important to explore the procedure of arbitration that is applied by many people towards reaching a resolution. The deflate-gate controversy provides another opportunity for one to understand how the arbitration process can begin in a court of law. The first procedure is filling and initiating the process (Tom Brady’s Deflategate scandal, 2021). It starts when one party in the conflict presents a case that should be handled. The second step that is essential in arbitration is arbitrator selection, which encompasses both parties selecting a person or a third party to handle the conflict. For instance, the NFL authorities and opponents in the AFC championship game resolved to seek a solution through arbitration (Roberts, 2018). Selection of an arbitrator must consider a person or third party who can meet needs of the two parties and arrive at a solution. The third step is information exchange and preparation where both parties must exchange information regarding a particular matter of interest. For instance, conducting interviews on personnel at the New England Patriots proved strategic towards gathering information that can help agree on a common ground. Hearings should be the fourth aspect of the arbitration process as both parties are required to present compelling evidence and testimonies (Mirer, Duncan and Wagner, 2018). Failure to listen to both parties might be detrimental towards reaching an agreement. Post hearings should be conducted as a way of allowing both parties present further information for a detailed resolution on the same. The last step is providing an award to parties involved as proof of making an agreement (Appellate Procedure, 2021). The award issued is an indication that an agreement has been reached and the arbitrator makes a decision. The deflate-gate controversy is a chance that can help inform practice on the uses and procedure involved in coming to an agreement during a conflict.

Challenging an arbitration Award

It is important to explore circumstances and situations that could help challenge an arbitration award presented by an arbitrator. Challenging an award is difficult as the litigation process requires and recognizes the original award that was issued (Wolenski, Thompson and Geer, 2019). A party to arbitral proceedings can challenge an award in a court of law when there is a serious irregularity that impacts proceedings, the award or the tribunal. The deflate-gate controversy is another illustration of where one can make an appeal to a court of law seeking to drop a particular arbitration award (Shihab and Al-Rawe, 2021). Equally, serious irregularities might involve procedures that can jeopardize the possibility of an applicant getting justice from the arbitrator. The NFL authorities gave Tom Brady a chance to appeal and seek for a solution that is more appealing. For instance, getting the match-ban reduce to two games might be helpful to settle the matter. The fact that four game agreement ban is unacceptable by the player is indicative of the need to have arbitration procedures that can help solve such conflicts (Wolenski, Thompson and Geer, 2019). There are two important aspects that are considered when one needs to challenge an arbitration award as in the case of the deflate-gate controversy. It is important to note that serious irregularities must be evident and that the irregularities must in one way impact justice outcome for an applicant.

Structure of the Federal Court System and Appellate Procedure

It is vital that the essay explores the structure of the federal court system within the United States as a way of seeking further understanding to the appellate procedure that is required in handling litigation (Shin, 2017). The United States federal court system has three main parts that are normally utilized to handle different cases that arise. The three levels include trial courts or district courts, the court of appeals and the US Supreme Court. It is important to explore the trial courts in the United States and determine their role in solving various issues within the system. When people are dissatisfied Appellate courts in the system are used to handle matters as presented by lowers courts that include trial courts. The third level of the federal court system represents the Supreme Court of the United States (Sanga, 2018). The court handles issues that have been presented by other lower ranking courts as a way of maintaining hierarchy and procedure within the system.

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The appellate procedure refers to the rules and practices that the courts of appeal use to review trials made in lower courts. The trial courts in the United States handle different cases and upon dissatisfaction, one is allowed to make an appeal to appellate courts (Roberts, 2018). Appellate courts function within the system to develop a law or correct errors in judgment as made by lower ranking courts (Shin, 2017). Main themes that are handled in appellate procedures include what cases can be appealable, the procedure of presenting them in a court of law and requirements to make a reversal of the judgment made at trial courts (Appellate Procedure, 2021). When applicants fail to be satisfied by judgments made by lower courts, they have a right to appeal to the supreme court and seek justice. The appellate procedure focuses on final judgment and errors that have been made on the same by lower courts.


In conclusion, the deflate-gate controversy provides an opportunity to understand the uses and procedures of arbitration. For instance, Tom Brady the team’s quarterback resolved to appeal on the ruling made to ban him from participating in four games in the NFL championships. Arbitration is a process where parties present information and seek a solution on particular conflicts. The federal court system in the United States is structured in a manner that allows individuals to seek help whenever they are dissatisfied with rulings in lower courts. The three major levels of the federal court system include trial courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court, which is the most prominent level in the system. The deflate-gate controversy helps explore aspects of appealing and involved procedures during an arbitration process.


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