Tom Brady discusses anthem protest issue with Oprah Winfrey (vid)
Tom Brady addressed the ongoing national anthem protest controversy plaguing the NFL during a wide-ranging interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The New England Patriots quarterback’s interview with the Queen of All Media is slated to air on Sunday, Father’s Day, as part of Winfrey’s “SuperSoul Conversations” series. Brady perhaps provided his most expansive comments on the anthem issue in the interview.
Winfrey asked Brady specifically about the protests that occurred last season throughout the league, saying, “What was happening in your own locker room?”
“I think there were a lot of really good, healthy conversations coming out of it in our locker room,” Brady responded. “The great part about sports are the relationships, and I’ve been in it for a long time. I’ve been with guys from all different parts of the country. Every color, race, belief.
“And you know what? You respect what other people — I do, I respect why people are doing what they’re doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons. And that’s OK. You can do things for your reasons, they can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But I thought it was great.”
Brady adds in the interview that the Patriots had “a lot” of conversations in the locker room on how to approach the anthem issue.
The Patriots did have 12 players take a knee during a game in September in response to Trump’s initial, scathing condemnation of players who protest during the anthem. After that, the Patriots opted to stand for the anthem with teammates placing hands on teammate’s shoulders in a show of solidarity.
Brady, who is said to have some semblance of a friendship with Trump, interestingly characterized the President’s rhetoric on the anthem issue as “divisive.” Further, Brady just last month disputed the notion that anthem protests were hurting NFL ratings.
There was no discussion between Brady and Winfrey in the preview clip about the NFL’s new anthem policies, which only have served to make the issue that much more polarizing and controversial.