For the first time since the four-game suspension for his alleged role in the so-called Deflate-gate scandal was nullified by a U.S. district court judge, NFL superstar Tom Brady is speaking out.
The embattled four-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the New England Patriots posted to Facebook Friday night saying, "While I am pleased to be eligible to play, I am sorry our league had to endure this."
"I don’t think it has been good for our sport - to a large degree, we have all lost," he added.
The star quarterback also thanked Richard M. Berman, the judge in the Deflate-gate case, along with the NFLPA's legal team "who has fought so hard along with me."
The NFL suspended Brady in May after a league-led investigation determined that he was “generally aware” of a plot to take air out of footballs before this year’s AFC Championship Game, which is believed to make them easier to catch, and is a violation of NFL rules. Brady and his reps have always maintained his innocence of any wrongdoing and appealed the league’s decision with the support of the NFL Players Association.
The ruling on Thursday means that Brady will be able to suit up and take the field in the team's first game in NFL regular season on Sept. 10. Despite losing the case, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he respectfully disagrees with Judge Berman’s ruling and that the NFL will appeal the decision to reinstate Brady. It has also been reported that Goodell said he would not attend the Patriots first game, which marks the first game of the NFL regular season.
On Friday, Brady spoke positively about his return, saying he looked forward to "representing the New England Patriots" this week and making his fans proud.
"I love the NFL," said Brady. "It is a privilege to be a member of the NFL community and I will always try to do my best in representing my team and the league in a way that would make all members of this community proud."