If he could do everything over again, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says he would not have handled the aftermath of the Deflategate controversy any differently.
“I think it taught me a lot of things,” Brady told Oprah Winfrey in an interview that aired Sunday. “It taught me about the people I could really count on, the people that really supported me, and it taught me a lot about life.”
“Sometimes you do the best you can do, and it doesn’t work out,” he continued. “There were a lot of frustrations, and I tried to fight as hard as I could for what I believed in.”
Brady said he decided to ultimately accept the four-game suspension because there was “too much anxiety” surrounding the situation. In addition to his personal punishment, the Patriots were fined $1 million and docked two draft picks.
“I realized I couldn’t win,” he told Winfrey. “I just said, ‘You know what? I’m going to use this as an opportunity to have the month of September off for the first time in 21 years. I’m going to take advantage of this.'”
During his suspension, Brady was not allowed to attend practices or contact any Patriots personnel. He said he immediately flew to visit his parents in California, which happened to be around the same time his mother, Galynn, was starting cancer treatments.
He and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, also used to the time to visit Italy because the couple never went on a honeymoon after they got married in February 2009.
“So I said, ‘Man, that was the best month off I think I ever had,'” Brady told Winfrey. “In some ways, it was a great experience in my life, [even though] it was a really tough experience in my life.”