Tom Brady has a message for fans of the New England Patriots: The team's Super Bowl victory earlier this year wasn't tainted despite the #Deflategate scandal.
“We earned and achieved everything we got this year as a team,” Brady told a cheering crowd at Salem State University in Salem, Massachusetts on Thursday night.
Brady's comments came on the heels of an NFL-commissioned report released Wednesday that finds it "more probable than not" that team employees removed air from footballs during the Patriot's infamous AFC Championship win over the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. The report also says the star quarterback was probably "at least generally aware" of the scheme.
Asked by sportscaster Jim Gray if the scandal detracted from the Patriots' Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks, Brady said "absolutely not."
However, Brady also said he needed more time to "digest" the report before speaking to the specifics.
"Our owner commented on it yesterday it’s only been 30 hours so I have not had enough time to digest it fully, but when I do I will be sure to let you know how I feel about it," Brady told the packed hall.
— Julie Loncich (@JulieLoncich) May 7, 2015
— Brian Crandall (@nbc10_brian) May 7, 2015
Only the beginning of the event was open to the press, and no reports from what happened after it was closed to the media have yet emerged.
Earlier on Thursday, Brady's agent condemned the report, saying the league was set on blaming Brady for the incident some contend helped the Patriots on their way to another Super Bowl win. Don Yee also claimed that the 243-page report excluded key facts.
In January, Brady maintained he "didn't alter the balls in any way," and "would never have someone do something that was outside the rules."
But for the time being, Brady seems to be flying high. Fans lined up hours before the event, and Brady arrived in a helicopter.
So, Tom Brady arrived to his deflategate presser
— Ben Kesling (@bkesling) May 7, 2015