Sports | September 18, 2017 12:37 pm

Tom Brady, Noted Trump Supporter, Goes to Bat for Colin Kaepernick

New England Patriots quarterback made comments during CBS interview.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady v. Houston Texans, 2013. (Scott Halleran/Getty)

A year before the presidential election, New England Patriots quarterback stirred controversy among his fanbase by telling reporters that it “would be great” if Donald Trump were elected president. In a previous locker room interview, a “Make America Great Again” cap was pictured inside it.

Brady repeatedly referred to Trump as a “friend” to the press, and while never publicly endorsing Trump for president, did everything but.

That is, until Brady—along with six other Patriots teammates—skipped the Trump administration’s invite to the White House following the Patriots’ most recent Super Bowl victory. (It’s worth noting that Brady also skipped the event in 2015.) Some of his African-American teammates gave reasons for nixing the visit including not feeling “accepted” in a Trump White House. Brady’s reason? “Personal family matters,” as he wrote in a statement.

Now, in a much more important show of solidarity, Brady distanced himself from the president on a particularly controversial issue: Colin Kaepernick.

Trump, who told reporters last August that Kaepernick was “openly racist” for his silent nation anthem protest, following that up by telling another reporter that “[Kaepernick] should find a country that works better for him.” The president has continued his verbal assault on Kaepernick, taking credit for the tough market the quarterback has faced following his announcement of free agency.

Brady, who spoke to CBS journalist Norah O’Donnell for a vignette that aired yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning, as well as another segment that aired on the network the following morning, said he hopes Kaepernick will play again in the NFL. “I’ve always watched him and admired him, the way that he’s played,” said Brady. “He was a great young quarterback; he came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl in 2012.”

The CBS Sunday Morning segment that aired did not include the Kaepernick comments, but rather, Brady plugging his new book, The TB-12 Method, healthy lifestyle, and career on the gridiron.

This is the second time in two weeks that the sports and political worlds have collided head on; last week, an ESPN SportsCenter anchor, Jemele Hill, tweeted anti-Trump comments, only to later be backed by her employer (though the situation is complicated). The president responded in kind, tweeting not directly at Hill but calling out ESPN for its falling subscriber numbers.