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Last week, Tom Brady ended his Wednesday news conference when a reporter asked him about Donald Trump’s “locker room talk,” the hot-mic audio of Trump from 2005 describing how he kisses women and grabs their genitals without their permission because he’s “a star.”
The reporter invoked Brady’s children – he has two sons and a daughter – and Brady simply thanked the assembled media and walked off the podium.
The response, or lack of, drew headlines, as many athletes have said publicly that they have never spoken that way in the locker room nor have they heard others speak that way in the locker room.
On Monday, during his weekly appearance on Boston radio station WEEI, Brady was asked why he avoided the question.
“The thing I’ve always thought is I don’t want to be a distraction for the team,” Brady said. “That’s what my goal is. Not that there are things I’ve said and done that haven’t been [a distraction], but you try not to be. It’s just hard enough to win and prepare without the distractions so when you start having the distractions it’s even harder to prepare. You try to do the best that you [can] do.”
Last year, Brady had a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker at Gillette Stadium, and when asked if Trump, the Republican nominee for President, could win, the quarterback said, “I hope so. That would be great.”
Brady explained the pair’s relationship on WEEI: “I met him probably 15, 16 years ago. We’ve played golf together many, many times and I’ve always had a good time with him. He’s been a friend of mine. He’s supported our team. He’s supported the Patriots. He’s been on the Patriots sideline a lot. He’s always called me after games to encourage me over the course of 15 years. That’s kind of the way it is.”
Brady has always been loyal to his friends, but as Trump has disparaged women, Muslims, African-Americans, the disabled, prisoners of war and others, the quarterback has not come out and condemned any of those statements, which disappoints at least one of his former teammates.
“[Brady should have said] just something, a quick answer on the question to get it out of the way, just answer the question to say, ‘I don’t condone it’ and then walk off the stage,” former New England receiver Troy Brown said Sunday on CSN New England. “The optics of it weren’t great. I understood what he was trying to do. But the next time he’s asked that question, then give a quick answer and let it be. I’m not responsible for what comes out of my friend’s mouth. But I am responsible for correcting my friend.”
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