When asked this past week on his relationship with Trump, Brady, like Belichick, said, “If you know someone, it doesn’t mean that you agree with everything that they say or do.” And he’s right.
This, unfortunately, is lost on many. It has become fashionable to pin others into a corner because of another person’s remark and try to blow it up. The politicization of the obscure is not only off-putting, but when used against a select few who don’t “fall in line,” it resembles an inquisition, as W. James Antle calls it.
The politicization of sports, furthermore, cannot be justified by the fact that there are many links between sports figures and politicians. Let’s not pretend the Trump-Patriots connection is extraordinary and therefore warrants our attention. Look at all the other NFL owners who have donated to campaigns. This is not new; don’t act like it is. Has Trump’s appointment of Jets owner Woody Johnson as ambassador to the United Kingdom been overlooked because the Jets—dare I say it—are just not a good football team?
When Trump welcomed his three friends to the White House to celebrate the Patriots’ fifth Lombardi trophy, Brady should have felt free to pull out that red hat from his back pocket, put it on, shake the president’s hand, and smile at the cameras—and he still would not have to say anything to anyone about it.