Back in September, reporters spotted a “Make America Great Again” hat in Tom Brady’s locker and, naturally, asked him about the Republican presidential candidate. When asked if Trump has what it takes to win, the Patriots quarterback responded, “I hope so. That would be great.” (He then cracked a joke: “There’d be a putting green on the White House lawn, I’m sure of that.”) And since that comment, the nature of Brady’s support of Trump has become a topic of fascination both inside and outside the world of football.
In recent weeks, Trump’s campaign has only grown more controversial, and in the wake of Trump’s comments that he’d ban all Muslims from entering the United States, Deadspin even offered $100 to the first reporter who asked Brady if he still thought it would be great if Trump were elected. Well, earlier today, Brady was again asked about Trump on Boston radio station WEEI. He doesn’t get into Trump’s politics, but rather discusses his friendship with the candidate, saying “I support all my friends.” Via Yahoo:
“Can I just stay out of this debate?” Brady laughed on his regular Tuesday morning interview on WEEI. “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. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me — 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 thought was really cool. That came along with winning the Super Bowl. He’s always invited me to play golf. I’ve always enjoyed his company.”
Brady continued, speaking of Trump more as a friend than as a legitimate political candidate: “I support all my friends in everything they do,” he said. “I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible business man and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s a pretty different career path. I think that is pretty remarkable.”
Brady was then asked a follow-up question about his comments being interpreted as an endorsement. Said the quarterback: “This is really important to you guys, huh?”
Earlier in September, before saying that Trump’s election “would be great,” Brady had stopped short of saying he’d vote for Trump during an interview on WEEI:
“I don’t know. Am I going to vote for him? That’s a very good question. Honestly, he’s a good friend and we’ve had a lot of time on the golf course together over the years, probably not much recently, but when I was in my younger days I would have more time that I could spend doing those types of things before there were kids. We spent a lot of time golfing together.
“It’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to accomplish as an entrepreneur and then as a television star and now running for political office. People who can do those types of things and transition into different arenas and still have that type of appeal and carry over — he’s obviously appealing to a lot of different people. He’s a helluva lot of fun to play golf with.”
And after his locker-room quote about Trump was widely circulated, Brady spoke about how things can be taken out of context, and added that politics aren’t really on his radar. From a WEEI interview in late September, via Yahoo:
“Look, I’ve known him for a long time. He’s been a fun guy that I’ve had a lot of time around. The fact that he’s running, it’s obviously led to a lot of stories and debates, and I know the ratings were huge for all those Republican debates and so forth.
“One way or the other, it’s so far away from when the election will be. And whatever I vote is going to be my own personal choice based on how I feel. I don’t even know what the issues are. I haven’t paid attention to politics in a long time. It’s actually not something that I really even enjoy. It’s way off my radar.”
But while Brady seems to be carefully answering questions about the Republican candidate, Trump is happy to play up his friendship with the quarterback. From earlier this month: “In Massachusetts, I’m at 48 percent. You know why? Tom Brady said Trump’s the greatest. He says it to anyone who asks him.”