New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) defended New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who is taking heat after an NFL investigation into possible cheating.

The league's investigation, released Wednesday, said Brady had likely been "generally aware" of footballs being intentionally deflated by team employees for a competitive advantage during games.

Christie said in a Thursday interview with IJReview there has been too much attention on the scandal now known as "Deflategate" and that Brady's legacy shouldn't be tarnished.


"Listen, I think there's a little bit too much attention on this," the New Jersey governor said. "I don't think anyone is really trying to say that Tom Brady won four Super Bowls or will become a future Hall of Famer because the balls were a little underinflated."

Brady has held firm that he isn't guilty of any wrongdoing, and Christie backed the star up, saying Brady is being attacked because of his celebrity.

"I think the media and others love for somebody who's married to a beautiful model, who's richer than you can imagine and who is a future Hall of Famer, to take a couple of shots at him, people like that every once in a while," Christie said. "I think it's way, way overblown. I think frankly, we'll move on from it pretty quickly."

Attorney Ted Wells released a 243-page report that took more than 100 days to put together, with evidence suggesting the two-time NFL MVP and four-time Super Bowl champion Brady had discussions with equipment managers and other team employees about the deflation of footballs.

The scandal had been brewing since January's AFC Championship game, when league officials inspected the team's balls during halftime and found most were underinflated. The controversy only intensified when the Patriots went on to beat the Seattle Seahawks in February to become Super Bowl champions.

Wells's report did not explicitly say Brady was guilty of cheating, but it stated "it is more probable than not" that he was "at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities" that led to the balls being less inflated than usual.

The report included records of phone calls and text message conversations between the NFL star and team employees about the inflation of the footballs.