Cornerback Malcolm Butler was noticeably absent on the field Sunday in the Patriots’ 41-33 to the Eagles in Super Bowl LII.
Many speculated as to why coach Bill Belichick decided to bench Butler, who was a key player for the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.
After the game, Belichick said he “made the decisions that gives us the best chance to win.”
Butler confirmed after the game that it was Belichick’s decision to leave him out of the game plan.
“They gave up on me. F—. It is what it is,” Butler said. “It was a coach’s decision. … I don’t know what it was. I guess I wasn’t playing good. They didn’t feel comfortable. I could have changed that game, though. I was just doing my job supporting my teammates. I had nothing but great things to say about the organization. Great organization. They gave me the opportunity.”
Since the game, Butler has gone quiet. Many have speculated as to the real reason why Belichick decided to bench him, including some former Patriots players.
Brandon Browner, a teammate of Butler’s in 2014, lashed out at Belichick’s move in series of Instagram posts and revealed that Butler might have been held out of the game due to breaking curfew or smoking weed.
Now, Butler has shared his own Instagram post and said those claims aren’t true.
“During Super Bowl week I never attended any concert, missed curfew, or participated any of the ridiculous activities being reported. They are not only false, but hurtful, to me and my family,” Butler wrote. “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 says during Super Bowl week, he visited his family every night.
“Finally, I want to apologize to any offended by my language reported immediately after the game during a very emotional time,” Butler wrote.
“It was out of character for me and my character, and heart with Gods’ help is what got me to where I am today. I can’t wait for the 2018 season to get here. I will be ready!”