SALEM (CBS) – In his first public appearance since the Wells report on “Deflategate” came out, Tom Brady said he needs more time to digest it.
Brady was the scheduled guest at the Salem State University speaker series Thursday evening, an appearance that was planned back in February.
Before a crowd of 4,000 he deflected several questions about the 243-page report, which concluded that two New England Patriots employees likely tampered with footballs and that Brady was “at least generally aware” of it.
“I don’t really have any reaction,” Brady said of the report.
“Our owner [Robert Kraft] commented on it yesterday. It’s only been 30 hours so I have not had enough time to digest it fully, but when I do I will be sure to let you know how I feel about it,” he told sports personality Jim Gray who was moderating the event.
When asked if the scandal detracted from the joy of winning the Super Bowl Brady said “absolutely not” to the cheers of the audience. The Wells Report found some of his claims were implausible in explaining why footballs were under-inflated.
Brady does not think his most recent Super Bowl victory is tainted.
“We earned and achieved everything we got this year as a team,” Brady said Thursday night. “I am proud of that and our fans should be too.”
Brady arrived on campus in a helicopter and was greeted by a standing ovation and chants of “MVP!” The media was there in full force Thursday night, but television cameras were only allowed to record the first 10 minutes of Brady’s talk.
This crowd embraced the quarterback with many saying they came to hear him speak about his career, not about Deflategate.
“I came to see Tom Brady because he won four Super Bowls. That’s why I like Tom Brady,” said Brady Little.
“I think he was honest, he’s going go address it when the time is right. I was happy with that,” said Wendy Rosenbaum.
WBZ-TV’s Julie Loncich reports
Tickets sold out quickly when the event was first announced, going for $25 to $100. But on Thursday tickets were selling on Craigslist for as much as $500.
Brady called this event like a Patriots pep rally and said if there is a public backlash life has “its ups and downs. I accept my role as a public figure and take the good with the bad.”
After he was teased by Gray for being a slow reader, Brady said he’ll address the full report “hopefully soon.”