Butler says he never "participated in any of the ridiculous activities being reported."
New England Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler did not play at all during the team's 41-33 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII, and it's still unclear why Bill Belichick refused to put him in the game.
According to Pro Football Talk, 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, that led to Butler's benching. Other reports suggested he was partying and missed curfew.
In wake of the reports about his absence during Super Bowl LII, the 27-year old defensive back released a statement on social media today, in which he denied missing curfew, or participating in "any of the ridiculous activities being reported."
Butler's statement reads, (h/t Pro Football Talk):
“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.”
“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, who has played for the Patriots in each of his first four seasons, will become an unrestricted free agent in March.