“I certainly disagree with what he said,” the New England Patriots quarterback, 40, said on Monday, September 25, during his weekly appearance on the Boston sports radio station WEEI. “I thought it was just divisive. 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 in 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.”
Trump, 71, sparked controversy over the weekend after he referred to NFL players who kneel during the national anthem as “sons of bitches” during a rally in Alabama on Friday, September 22, a reference to a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in late 2016.
The former Celebrity Apprentice host’s remarks were condemned by a number of athletes, including NBA stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James, prompting him to call for an NFL boycott in a series of tweets. By Sunday, September 24, more than 200 NFL players knelt or locked arms during the anthem in response to the controversy.
“I think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do,” Brady, who stood during Sunday’s national anthem, said on WEEI. “If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is 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.”
Trump and Brady have been friends for more than a decade. “He’s been very supportive of me for a long time,” the five-time Super Bowl champ said on WEEI in January. “It’s just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. … Why does that make such a big deal? I don’t understand that.”