Tom Brady, the quarterback of the New England Patriots, addressed the remarks that President Donald Trump made about NFL players who kneel during the anthem on Monday, saying, “I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive,” according to ESPN.
Brady previously did not want to discuss politics and after his team’s win of the Houston Texans on Sunday instead spoke of the love he has for his teammates.
However, Brady addressed his thoughts on Trump calling NFL players “sons of bitches” during his weekly interview on sports radio WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan.” The player was asked if he thought Trump should worry about bigger things than players kneeling during the anthem. After acknowledging that he disagreed with the comments, Brady said that he wants to support his teammates. He continued, saying he is never one or say what is right or wrong, but he believes in “bringing people together and respect and love and trust,” reports ESPN. Those values are how he tries to live every day, Brady said.
Brady went on to talk about his teammates, saying he has been lucky enough to play with guys from all over the United States during his career.
“I think one thing about football is that it brings so many guys together, guys that you would never have the opportunity to be around, whether it was in college and all the way into the pros. We’re all different. We’re all unique. That’s what makes us all so special,” Brady said, according to ESPN.
When asked if he has ever talked to other players about his friendship with Trump, Brady said no, that has not happened.
Trump on Friday made comments about players who protest during the national anthem, saying, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He’s fired! He’s fired!”
NFL players on Sunday kneeled or linked arms during the national anthem, and the Pittsburgh Steelers did not even leave the locker room. Seventeen Patriots players kneeled, and Brady stood in a row of other teammates whose arms were interlocked, writes ESPN.
Fans at the Patriots’ home stadium booed the players who were kneeling, and Brady said that he did hear that. But he said he wasn’t disappointed, because everyone has the right to do what they want to do, and if you disagree, you can voice that, ESPN reports. He went on to say that he thinks being able to voice your disagreement is great.
“It’s part of our democracy, as long as it’s done in a peaceful, respectful way. That’s what this country has been all about,” he said, according to ESPN.
Not everyone agrees with Brady’s sentiment, however, including former Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light. He was part of the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl championships.
“As a guy that’s been there and helped set up the Patriot Way so they can walk in there and do what they do, it’s beyond disheartening,” Light told the Boston Herald and reported by ESPN. “It’s the first time I’ve ever been ashamed to be a Patriot. And I promise you I’m not the only one.”
Trump also tweeted his support for the fans who booed, saying those fans “demand respect for our Flag!”
Many people booed the players who kneeled yesterday (which was a small percentage of total). These are fans who demand respect for our Flag!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 25, 2017