Pro Football Hall of Famer Jerry Rice doesn't want football fans to think he may have had an unfair advantage on the way to becoming the most successful wide receiver in NFL history.
After saying he felt the New England Patriots cheated during the AFC championship game by using underinflated footballs, Rice came under fire Friday for comments he made during an ESPN feature on gloves which aired Jan. 17.
During the segment, Rice said he enhanced his gloves by using the banned substance stickum on them.
"I know this might be a little illegal guys, I put a little spray, a little stickum, on 'em just to make sure that that texture is a little sticky," he said.
Rice's post raises the question as to whether the use of stickum was rampant among receivers in the NFL during the 1980s and 1990s.
Rice entered the league in 1985, four years after stickum was banned by the league. He played on three Super Bowl-winning teams with the San Francisco 49ers before retiring in 2005.
By stating "All players did it!" Rice is claiming he didn't have an advantage, but he's also saying that players were at the very least bending the rules. He hasn't explained his reasoning behind why the Patriots should be considered cheaters when he has admitted to using something that was banned by the NFL.
It remains to be seen if any other receivers or players from the 1980s and '90s come out to support or deny Rice's claim that stickum use was rampant during those decades.