New England Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich is hosting a star-studded Ping-Pong charity event Monday in Boston and Butch Stearns was on hand as three of Boston's athletes, including Ninkovich, threw their support behind Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Ninkovich wasn't alone in backing the Patriots QB. Former Celtics forward Leon Powe and Bruins goaltender Tuuka Rask also chimed in with their words of encouragement.
"We all support each other," said Ninkovich. "That's why I'm here tonight, why teammates are here tonight, to support me and the things that I'm doing tonight to support the community.
"It goes both ways. It's family. That's what it is."
Ninkovich continued, "Tom has won a lot of games and he's done a lot in this league so I don't question anything. He's a good football player, a great teammate so I support him."
The offseason has been unlike any other Ninkovich has experienced over the course of his career.
"It's been unbelievable," said Ninkovich. "Just spending time with my family and enjoying that and now it's back to work."
When asked if the off-field issues has detracted from the joy of winning a title, Ninkovich said, "Not one bit. I'm a Super Bowl champion. I can't wait to get that ring. I'm excited for that. I've been googling Super Bowl rings just to look at them. I don't know what ours are going to look like, but I just google it, "Super Bowl ring" and what's it look like. Really nice."
"Ah, deflate-gate," said Powe. "I've been getting calls about deflate-gate for a long time. For me, I've never seen nothing like that. I'm a basketball guy, I thought if a football's just a little bit under under-inflated or a little bit over-inflated, I thought it was no big deal, but the NFL thought otherwise and think it gives some teams an unfair advantage and if it's so, they have to do what they have to do."
When asked if he feels bad for what Brady's going through, Powe said, "Of course, of course. You don't want (any) athlete, especially a fellow athlete to go through anything that can tarnish your reputation. You don't wish that upon nobody."
"Everybody knows he's a great guy," said Rask. "Everybody knows he's a great role model. These kind of things happen and I feel bad for him. I think every sports player in this town feels bad for him but I'm sure he's going to deal with it in the proper way."
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