Tom Brady on Pats avoiding rift over protests: ‘Dialogue is always open’
Tom Brady, along with several of his New England Patriots teammates, locked arms during the national anthem as a show of solidarity before last Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. Meanwhile, more than a dozen Patriots players knelt during the anthem.
Given the perception that the Patriots disagreed in part on how to address an issue that became even more controversial in the wake of President Trump’s frequent condemnatory remarks regarding the NFL over the past week, there arguably lies the possibility of a rift developing in the Patriots locker room.
“I don’t think anybody wants that,” Brady said Wednesday, via NESN. “… I’m sure there will be conversations as we continue to go forward. We’ll see how it goes.”
Brady, however, argues that isn’t and won’t be the case, as the team has fostered an environment to avoid any potential strife.
“I think the dialogue is always open,” Brady said. “I think that’s important for any team. Hard and fast rules, maybe, in this day and age is a little bit tougher than they used to be, but I just think it’s overall trust that everyone is here to do the same thing. I think everyone has a great deal of respect for each other in the locker room. We try to work hard every day and always put the team first. We also understand that there are extenuating circumstances at times, and you have to respect the people that you play with.
“Like I said after (Sunday’s) game, just the love that you have for the players and for things that are important to individuals. I think we have a great locker room. I think we have some good leadership.”
Bill Belichick, who wanted no part of discussing anthem protests earlier this week, will no doubt make sure the Patriots are focused solely on the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, not on any outside issues or controversy. What happens regarding any potential protests, however, remains to be seen.