“To a large degree,’’ Tom Brady said on Facebook Friday, “we have all lost.’’
The Patriots quarterback shared his thoughts on the Deflategate saga Friday night for the first time since his suspension was thrown out Thursday, freeing him to start against the Pittsburgh Steelers next week. He was alternately gracious and apologetic.
“I want to thank my family, my friends, all of the fans, past and current players and my teammates for the support they have given me throughout this challenging experience,’’ Brady wrote. “I also want to thank Judge Berman and his staff for their efforts to resolve this matter over the past five weeks. I am very grateful. My thanks also to the union’s legal team who has fought so hard right along with me.’’
“While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this,’’ he added. “I don’t think it has been good for our sport — to a large degree, we have all lost. I am also sorry to anyone whose feelings I may have hurt as I have tried to work to resolve this situation. I love the NFL.’’
Read Brady’s full statement on Facebook below.
Brady has said little about the Deflategate proceedings since NFL investigator Ted Wells submitted his report to commissioner Roger Goodell in May.
He last addressed the saga on Facebook on July 29 after Goodell upheld Brady’s four-game suspension following the four-time Super Bowl winner’s appeal to the league.
“I am very disappointed by the NFL’s decision to uphold the 4 game suspension against me,’’ Brady wrote in July. “I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either.’’
The last time Brady spoke publicly about the charges his team underinflated footballs in the AFC Championship game was back in May during an appearance at Salem State University, shortly after the Wells Report was released.
During Tuesday night’s Patriots charity gala, Brady jokingly said, “it’s been such an enjoyable offseason’’ when asked how he spent his summer.
After Thursday night’s final preseason game against the Giants – when Brady had the night off – Patriots players deflected Deflategate questions when pressed in the locker room.
Brady has not yet been scheduled to address the media leading into Thursday’s night’s season opener at Gillette Stadium.
Tom Brady through the years: