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Deford: When It Comes To The Courtroom, Bet On The Players

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Deford: When It Comes To The Courtroom, Bet On The Players

Deford: When It Comes To The Courtroom, Bet On The Players

Deford: When It Comes To The Courtroom, Bet On The Players

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/438612252/438797736" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up the game ball after a game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass., in January. A judge erased Brady's four-game suspension for "deflategate" last week. Elise Amendola/AP hide caption

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Elise Amendola/AP

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady holds up the game ball after a game against the Baltimore Ravens in Foxborough, Mass., in January. A judge erased Brady's four-game suspension for "deflategate" last week.

Elise Amendola/AP

While many legal experts expected the Tom Brady deflated football case to be settled in favor of the NFL, those wise lawyers neglected pertinent history. That is, that for 40 years now, most important decisions between sports organizations and their players, which have been adjudicated by some neutral outside agency, have been settled in favor of the athletes.

Players may win and lose games on the field, but in America, players win big in court — and they have, time and time again, since 1975, when the Andy Messersmith case led to the demise of the reserve clause in baseball.

Click the audio to hear about how the Messersmith case relates to "deflategate."