Why should Tom Brady have to discuss Trump?

Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Judging by the voter participation rates in this country, Tom Brady's opinion on politics is normal, if not in the majority.

He doesn't care. Or, if he does care, he doesn't care to discuss it, doesn't have any interest in the knee-jerk pandering or uncomfortable discussions when two people who really, really do care start discussing some wedge issue without a solution.

All of which makes his presence on the cover of Wednesday's New York Daily News, the latest in the partisans on both sides demanding he definitively declare whether he loves/hates/endorses/condemns Donald Trump for President, so ridiculous

"I am just here to play football," Brady said, continuing his career-long routine of avoiding discussion of anything beyond the game he plays.

That, though, isn't allowed by the politically obsessed, who insist Brady match their fixation with all things politics.

But not everyone approaches politics as they do.

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It isn't that the topics aren't serious or important. It's the tact, it's the anger, it's the certainty in their position. It's that this feels less about proving anything or convincing anyone and more about shouting over each other in an effort to claim some moral or intellectual high ground.

It may baffle those who are manic about politics but many of us out there look upon the entire thing not with a lack of understanding, but a belief in the clarity of our position – that this is mostly a dishonest construct, built to enflame passion so the governing/lobbying/campaigning class makes more money.

Six of the 10 richest (by median income) counties in America surround Washington D.C., according to Forbes. This doesn't seem like a coincidence.

Many Americans are exhausted just looking in on the clown show and uninterested in being labeled as an extremist by other extremists for not being extreme enough about whatever they deem extremely important.

I don't know how Brady feels because like most political agnostics – or, you could say, independents – I'd never ask him because I have no interest in finding out. I bet he might agree, though. He sure acts like it.

He rarely expresses an opinion on anything other than how tough this week's defense looks and how much work he and the New England Patriots will have to work to score a touchdown. He was asked this fall by GQ Magazine about running for political office.

"There is a 0.000 chance of me ever wanting to do that," Brady said. "I just think that no matter what you'd say or what you'd do, you'd be in a position where – you know, you're politicking. You know? Like, I think the great part about what I do is that there's a scoreboard. At the end of every week, you know how you did. You know how well you prepared. You know whether you executed your game plan. There's a tangible score.

"I think in politics, half the people are gonna like you and half the people are not gonna like you, no matter what you do or what you say," he continued. "It's like there are no right answers. If there were, everyone would choose the right answers. They're all opinions."

____________________

In September a Donald Trump trucker hat reading "Make America Great Again" wound up in Brady's locker in Foxborough. Brady said Patriots owner Robert Kraft gave it to him. He deemed it "a keepsake."

The media asked about it, perhaps because it was unusual for anything like that to be seen around Brady. He's occasionally worn a T-shirt supporting an anti-hunger organization, or something like that, but that's about the extent of it. The man's brand is bland.

The furor started when a Donald Trump hat was spotted in Tom Brady's locker. (Twitter)
The furor started when a Donald Trump hat was spotted in Tom Brady's locker. (Twitter)

Brady first met Trump after he won the first of his four Super Bowls in February 2002. He was a young QB thrust into superstardom and Trump invited him to be a judge for the Miss Universe contest – we can only imagine the full story behind that weekend. He said it was one of the first cool things he got to do as a celebrity.

From then on Brady would play golf on Trump's courses, sometimes with the flamboyant Donald, or stay at his properties or whatever. "Fun guy to be around," Brady said.

None of this was an issue until Trump ran for president and built his campaign in a way that, based on the polls, both horrify and excite segments of America.

When asked about Trump's political aspirations Brady explained their relationship and called him a friend. He said it would be great if Trump was president, but did it in a comical, non-serious way, noting it would mean a putting green would be built at the White House. (Never mind that there already is one.)

Trump took that and began bragging that he had Brady's endorsement, which isn't what Brady said. Now Brady waded into a world where everything is blown out of proportion and there is never any context or perspective or appreciation for a guy getting cornered into a topic he didn't want to discuss.

To many, this was understandable. Not turning your back on a friend isn't the same as supporting every single thing he or she does, believes or says. It's clear that Brady has no interest in this.

"Can I just stay out of this debate?" Brady pled Monday on WEEI's "Dennis and Callahan Show."

Of course not. This is the political-industrial complex, with the New York Daily reaching into the coffers by putting Brady on its cover, declaring he had no, ahem, "courage" for not condemning Trump. Later Wednesday, back in Foxborough, the last two questions of Brady's weekly news conference were about Trump and how much Brady thought about the newspaper cover.

"I don't think about it much," Brady said. "It's a tough week, I've got a lot of football stuff to think about. Hopefully we can go out and beat the Titans. That would be the most important thing."

The politically obsessed from all sides are now screaming, probably because it's easy and a cheap score, not because there is any importance to the issue … a private citizen who has no interest in the endorsement game is refusing to make a definitive statement on his choice in an election that is months away.

Brady isn't usually someone you might feel sorry for, but this enormous parade of nonsense can do it. He drew the worst seat ever at the holiday dinner table, stuck between the activist college student niece and tea party uncle.

Can someone pass the green bean casserole? And how about them Patriots?

 

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