Tom Brady says he was only replacing a broken phone — not destroying evidence.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the star quarterback insisted Wednesday that neither he nor anyone in the New England Patriots did anything wrong in the scandal known as Deflate-Gate.
On Tuesday, the NFL upheld its four-game suspension of Brady for his role in what the league concluded was a scheme to let air out of footballs before the AFC championship game in January.
Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was standing by the punishment in part because Brady ordered an assistant to destroy his four-month-old cellphone just before he met with Deflate-Gate investigators in March.
Brady said on Facebook that the commissioner has to respect “my rights as a private citizen.”
“I replaced my broken Samsung phone with a new iPhone 6 AFTER my attorneys made it clear to the NFL that my actual phone device would not be subjected to investigation under ANY circumstances,” Brady wrote.
“I did nothing wrong,” he declared. “There is no ‘smoking gun,’ and this controversy is manufactured to distract from the fact they have zero evidence of wrongdoing.”
The NFL filed papers on Tuesday to have a federal court uphold the suspension. Unless Brady wins an injunction, he will sit out until mid-October as the Patriots defend their Super Bowl title.
Brady said in his Facebook post that he had authorized the NFL players union to try to settle with the league and keep the matter out of court.