The face of the NFL is one of the toxic Republican presidential candidate’s closest friends and biggest supporters. “>
This past week, Bleacher Report operated an eye-opening investigative report. Titled Donald Trump Is Tearing the NFL Apart, reporter Mike Freeman interviewed dozens of NFL players about the 2016 electionand how the candidacy of Trump, who has a long history of racism towards the blacks( his terms ), has divided locker rooms along racial lines and ruined many a friendship among teammates.
When Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Trump at a rally in Buffalo, New York, this April, several of the black players on his squad were put off. I see Trump as someone who is hostile to people of color, and the fact that Rex supports him attained me look at him completely differently, and not in a positive way, one Bills player remarked.
Which brings us to the face of the NFL: Tom Brady. For the past several weeks, the New England Patriots quarterback has been living his best life, laying out on yachts in Italy with his supermodel wife Gisele as he serves his four-game Deflategate suspension. According to the terms of the suspension, Brady has not been allowed to engage in any squad football-related activities or discussions with teammates, even if away from the club facility, according to NFL VP of Communications Brian McCarthy.
Today, Brady will construct his long-awaited return to the Patriots starting lineup against the Cleveland Browns, and over the past week has been able to engage in talks with his teammateswhich means that, as the presidential race reaches the home stretch, they can finally grill him on his longstanding supporting of Donald Trump.
Last September, a reporter at Barstool Sports snapped a photo of one of Trumps signature red Make America Great Again hats prominently displayed in Bradys locker. For a celebrity as media-savvy as Brady, this didnt seem like a mistake.
Brady called the hat a nice keepsake and, when asked if Trump would be president, replied, I hope so. That would be great. Thered be a putting green on the White House lawn. I know that. Trump responded in kind, calling the endorsement a great honor on Twitter 😛 TAGEND
This, of course, went before many of Trumps more incendiary commentaries against Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, and womenincluding a lately unearthed video from 2005 of the Republican presidential boast about sexually assaulting females, saying he could grab them by the pussy at will due to his celebrity. And Brady, amid growing backlash, walked back the endorsement two week ago, calling it an offhanded remark and claim hes still undecided on who hell vote for in members of the general.
That didnt stop Trump from publicly touting Bradys support of his candidacy. In a December interview with The Washington Post , the former reality present host boasted about the Brady endorsement, claiming that Brady sings his praises to anyone who asks him.
In Massachusetts, Im at 48 percentage. You know why? Tom Brady said Trumps the greatest, told Trump. He says it to anyone who asks him. You know, its hard for a guy like him to say that. When youre a football player, you dont want to be taking sides in campaigns and having the Hillary[ Clinton] people now say youre not as good as Bart Starr. You understand. So Tom Brady is great.
Brady addressed Trumps comments in an interview days later with WEEI, just after Trump proposed a temporary forbidding on Muslims entering the United States in the wake of the San Bernardino shooting.
Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time.I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. Hes a good friend of mine. Hes always been so supportive of me, told Brady. For the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that I thought was really cool that came along with winning the Super Bowl. Hes always invited me to play golf and Ive always enjoyed his company. I support all my friends in everything they do. I think its pretty remarkable what hes achieved in his life. Youre going from business, kind of an incredible businessman and then a TV superstar, and then get into politics. Its three different career tracks. I think that is pretty remarkable.
The beauty pageant Brady is referring to is the 2002 Miss USA pageant. It occurred in March, simply one month after Brady, in his first year as a starting QB, resulted the Patriots to a last-second win over the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVIthis despite being 14 -point underdogs.
A 2002 Sports Illustrated cover story on Brady, titled The Natural, detailed how Trump flew Brady out to Gary, Indiana, in his private airplane to judge the pageantry. He also took it upon himself to comment on Bradys gaggle of female supporters. If one thing stands out about Tom Brady, Trump told SI, its that he loves those women. And guess what? They love him, too.
Trump even ran as far as offering up his own daughter, Ivanka, to Brady on Howard Sterns radio show, telling the host he tried to talk her up to Brady during the Miss USA pageant. When requested information about the Stern remarks in a 2004 interview with Playboy , Trump responded:
I think hes a great character. I got to know him when he was a judge at a jitterbug contest I entered after the Patriots won the Super Bowl, said Trump. Hes a win, and by that I mean every time he needs to construct the pass he makes it. You have other guys in the NFL and in life who have all the equipment but dont induce the pass. I believe Toms a great guy, and I think he and Ivanka would make a great combination.
Ever since that fateful day ogling females together in Gary, Indiana, Trump and Brady have remained golf buddies and close pals.
You know, he always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times, Brady told WEEI last September. Weve had a lot of time on the golf course together over the years. Probably not as much recently, but in my younger days when I would have more day that I could expend doing those types of things, before there were kids, we expended a lot of time golfing together and so forth.
Trump, for his part, has remained one of Bradys staunchest supporters throughout the Deflategate ordeal, tweeting constantly about the perceived injustice of it all, and even recording a video at his desk recommending his buddy to sue the hell out of the NFL for defamation to the tune of $250 million.
And the real estate heirs close friendship with the hotshot quarterback has paid serious dividends for candidate Trumpat least according to Trump.
In a March interview with The New York Times , Trump credited his relationship with Brady as playing an enormous role in helping him win the Massachusetts GOP primary by a wide margin, taking home 49.3 percent of the vote( 31 percentage points higher than the runner-up, John Kasich ).
Honestly, in that part of the world, a reference like Tom Brady saying Trumps the biggest winner, Trump is a friend of mine, that makes an incredible difference, said Trump. Tom Brady is a great friend of mine. Hes a win and he likes wins. He was very helpful to us in Massachusetts on Tuesday.
Its not only Brady, either. Both New England Patriots owner Bob Kraft and coach-and-four Bill Belichick are also staunch those in favour of Trump, with Kraft praising good friend Trump ahead of the Massachusetts primary, and Belichick flashing a rare smile during a celebratory dinner with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago club following his Massachusetts primary win.
The Trump-Brady bromance seemed to reach its apex in June, when Trump pestered to the press that Brady would be joining him at the Republican National Convention. Brady afterwards declined the invite.
Even though Brady hasnt formally endorsed Trump, the incendiary candidate was touting the QBs endorsement as recently as August in closed-door meetings with well-heeled donors in Massachusetts, according to Sports Illustrated .
I have Tom Brady, Trump reportedly told groups in Nantucket, Cape Cod, and New Hampshire. And[ Hillary] doesnt. We have Tom Brady on our side.
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