Malcolm Butler’s love of Rick Ross, 42, may have been one of the reasons why the New England Patriots’ cornerback sat out Super Bowl 52, but it’s reportedly just one of many reasons why he rode the bench. “In my understanding…there’s not one answer as to why Malcolm Butler was watching his teammates play in the super bowl rather than taking part, despite being the team’s best defensive players,” NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport told Dan Hellie on Feb. 5, per CBS Sports. “From what I am told…[Malcolm] had several issues. First of all, he arrived a day later than the team because he was sick….he also struggled this week in practice, having what was described as ‘a very rough week.’ ”
“I am also told there was a minor team violation related to curfew, perhaps because of his attendance at a Rick Ross concert during the Super Bowl week,” he added. That seems like a pretty extreme punishment, but perhaps this alleged curfew violation was the straw that broke the camel’s back? Whatever the reason, Pats coach Bill Belichick decided that the man involved in 97.8% of the defensive snaps this season would not play in the big game. The decision may have cost the team, as they lost, 41-33, to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Update: Malcolm has denied all reports that he missed curfew. “During my four year career with [the New England] Patriots, I have always given it everything I have to play at a high level, and would never do anything to hurt my team’s chances of winning a game, including this year’s Super Bowl where I visited my family every night. During Super Bowl Week, I never attended any concert, missed curfew or participated [in] any of the ridiculous actives being reported,” Malcolm said in a statement issued on Feb. 6. “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 done 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.”
— Malcolm CB Butler (@Mac_BZ) February 6, 2018
Original (cont’d): Brandon Browner, 33, Malcolm’s former teammate, suggested there’s more to this story. In an Instagram post, he said that Malcolm was “not the first to get caught with weed,” alleging that Malcolm’s benching was over more than his decision to catch a hip-hop show. “Curfew also meant we are not allowed to have guest especially women. I’ve ate chicken(Popeyes) in the room with a player and his wife after curfew.”
“I ain’t gonna say no names,” he said in the video. “Like every job, there’s always favorites, you feel me, and lil’ bro wasn’t a favorite.” Hmm. That’s a huge accusation to throw around. He also said that the Patriots “locker room was divided pre-game…most yds ever given in up in a SB game, and your best defender over the past 3 seasons. Doesn’t get a snap. You where hurt/burnt where he was needed tonight.” However, Brandon made it clear later that he didn’t have proof of any weed-related infraction. “This why I don’t do interviews, I’m not on that team. I was not with Malcolm to know what he was doing,” he wrote according to Daily Mail. “But here is an example of how they will take something you say, and make a controversial story behind it.”
Whatever the reason for the benching, the decision might mark the end of Malcolm’s time in Foxboro. “They gave up on me,” he told ESPN’s Mike Reiss after the Super Bowl loss. “F*ck. It is what it is. I don’t what it was…I guess I wasn’t playing good or they didn’t feel comfortable. I don’t know. But I could have changed that game.”
— Dan Hellie (@DanHellie) February 6, 2018
Source: Benching Butler not a discipline issue. Belichick made the call a few hours before game. Many coaches and players were shocked. Some players and coaches “furious” with Belichick, this is a move that divided the locker room.
— Kirk Minihane (@kirkmin) February 6, 2018
He not the first to get caught with weed, 🤷🏾♂️, curfew also meant we are not allowed to have guest especially women. I’ve ate chicken(Popeyes) in the room with a player and his wife after curfew. Bill seen that look in Toms eyes last night and thought we can win without our role players. Tom played the greatest game last name in super bowl history (statistically). But when you do wrong, nothing good can come out of that. Tom did everything he could do last night. Tom Brady was the goat last night. Malcolm’s presence was missed and felt last night. #facts 👑
Coach Belichick, who is known for being tight lip, didn’t go into details about after the Patriots lost the game, 41-33, to the Philadelphia Eagles. “I appreciate the question, but it would be a much longer discussion,” Belichick said. There are a lot of things that go into that. In the end, the final decision is what I said it was.”
HollywoodLifers, were you mad that Malcolm didn’t play in the Super Bowl?