Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler shared a statement on social media Tuesday that said, among other things, that he has always given everything he has to perform at a high level and that he never broke curfew or engaged in “ridiculous activities” before being benched in the Super Bowl.
That post got a lot of attention on Twitter and Instagram from fans, media and Butler’s teammates and peers in the NFL. Several players, including Patriots wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, linebacker Elandon Roberts and tackle Marcus Cannon, liked the post on Instagram and one prominent one also added a comment.
Quarterback Tom Brady shared some words with Butler that have been shared far and wide on social media since they were posted.
“Love you Malcolm! You are an incredible teammate and player and friend. Always!” Brady wrote.
People comment on social media posts for all sorts of reasons and Butler’s entire message had the feel of a farewell address to New England with free agency on the horizon next month. That may mean Brady is just saying bye to someone he’s shared the last four years with in New England.
With WEEI radio host Kirk Minihane reporting that head coach Bill Belichick’s decision to bench Butler proved to be divisive in the locker room, which will make it tempting for some to draw line behind online shows of support for Butler and feelings about that decision. Unless anyone decides to do more than hit a heart with their thumb, that will be just speculation albeit feverish speculation given the gravity of the moment when Belichick’s decision was made.