Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler responded to a report that a curfew violation was involved in the team’s decision to bench him for Super Bowl LII.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reported it was part of a “perfect storm” of issues including an early-week illness and a poor week of practice. Butler took issue with the curfew portion of that and any other talk of off-field misbehavior in a lengthy statement posted to his Twitter account on Tuesday, however.
“During my four-year career with [the] Patriots I have always given everything I have to play at a high level, and would never do anything to hurt my teams’ chances of winning a game, including this year’s Super Bowl where I visited with my family every night. During Super Bowl week I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated [in] any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful, to me and my family.”
Butler also apologized for cursing in comments to a reporter after the game and otherwise sounded like he was saying farewell to the Patriots. He thanked Robert Kraft, the Kraft family and Patriots coaches for the opportunity to play for the team and thanked his teammates for helping him experience a lot of winning before turning to what’s next.
“Although I wish I could have contributed more to help my team win, I have to get ready for the next opportunity. Moving forward I will do what I have always done to work hard, and prepare for next season to be the best I can be on and off the field.”
Butler is set for unrestricted free agency in March after wrapping up his fourth NFL season on the bench against the Eagles.