- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 7, 2015

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said the team’s Super Bowl victory was not tainted by the NFL’s accusation that he likely knew about deflated balls before the AFC Championship Game in January against the Indianapolis Colts.

When asked by journalist Jim Gray whether the accusation detracted from the joy of winning the Super Bowl, he replied “absolutely not” to thunderous cheers from the partisan crowd at Salem State University in Massachusetts.

He said the Patriots had “earned and achieved everything” in their championship season, which included a 45-7 pounding of the Colts at the game in question and a last-second win over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

He repeatedly refused Mr. Gray’s attempts to discuss whether the Patriots had cheated, saying there was a process going on. When he was asked when he would talk about the charges, he replied “hopefully soon … whoever it happens, it happens.”

He told Mr. Gray that he hadn’t finished reading the NFL’s report and when an incredulous Mr. Gray asked the University of Michigan graduate if he was “that slow a reader?” Mr. Brady again parried the question by saying his academic career was no great shakes and he now is “used to reading Xs and Os” of NFL playbooks.

Mr. Brady entered the room for the previously scheduled Q-and-A session to a standing ovation from an audience that he described as being “like a Patriot pep rally.”

As one measure of how friendly the audience was — when Mr. Gray first mentioned the name “Ted Wells” — the NFL’s lead investigator in the case — the audience began booing.

When asked whether he cared about how he’s been pilloried in the press and social media in recent days, Mr. Brady said his family, teammates and fans love him and trust him, and he dismissed everyone else.

“As a public figure, you learn everyone’s not going to like you,” he said.

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