For Tom Brady, Taking A Stance On NFL Players Taking A Knee During The National Anthem Was A No-Brainer

“If you don’t agree, that is fine.”

The entire NFL world united this weekend to stand up against comments made by President Donald Trump over players who knelt during the national anthem — a small-yet-powerful act Colin Kaepernick began doing in 2016 to protest police brutality against people of color. One such person making headlines for their response to the president's harsh words calling for the firing or suspension of those who don't stand for the occasion and attacking the sport by suggesting a boycott is New England Patriots player Tom Brady.

Brady has often been considered a friend of Trump's, having known each other for quite some time, and that has brought both positive and negative attention since the 2016 election. However, on Monday (September 25), the five-time Super Bowl champ notably condemned the president's comments in an interview with Kirk and Callahan on Boston's WEEI.

"Yeah, I certainly disagree with what [Trump] said. I thought it was just divisive," Brady — who locked arms with teammates on Sunday — said on the show. "Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, 'Oh, that is wrong. That is right.' I do believe what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me. That is how I try and live every day."

Addressing the act of kneeling during "The Star-Spangled Banner" as an act of protesting against racial injustice — something players were doing this weekend after Trump called those who refused to do so, collectively a "son of bitch" at a rally in Alabama — directly, the 40-year-old athlete said "everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do," and that he has "a lot of respect for the players around the league and for obviously my teammates."

"If you don't agree, that is fine," he explained to the radio hosts. "You can voice your disagreement, I think that's great. It's part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about."

This is something even Robert Kraft, CEO and chairman of the Patriots, also voiced in an official statement. Again, this is noteworthy because Kraft is also a close friend of the 45th president.

Besides outwardly reacting to the controversy dominating the sports world right now, Brady has also quietly done so as well. In an Instagram post shared before the Patriots' game on Sunday, Brady wrote: "Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work. #nflplayer."

Even beyond his own Instagram post, Brady also grabbed some attention for merely "liking" the Instagram photo of a fellow NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers shared a snap of his teammates kneeling and used hashtags echoing some of the words from Brady's own post.

Not only is Brady speaking out and standing in solidarity with his fellow league members, but he is showing us how to support those who you might not agree with 100 percent of the time. It shows that some issues transcend the sport, and that sometimes you have to stand up for what you believe personally that may or may not conflict with your political beliefs.

(H/T: Deadline | Variety |

Cover image via @tombrady / Instagram


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