Let's not make Tom Brady out as a bad person for things other than football

It’s still almost a month until the NFL pre-season starts, but New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is already making headlines. This time, however, it has nothing to do with his passing prowess. The multiple Super Bowl winning player is drawing some criticism for a video he published showing him taking his six-year-old daughter out for some cliff diving at a swimming hole. In the video (shown below), he grabs his daughter’s hand and leaps down from a height of what looks to be ten or fifteen feet, splashing down in the pool below.

Some critics were quick to pounce, identifying this as bad parenting and reckless behavior. Or something. (CBS News)

New England Patriots star Tom Brady is facing a wave of controversy this week over a now-viral video, which has garnered nearly three million views at press time. It shows the athlete and his youngest child with model Gisele Bündchen standing on the edge of a cliff, above a body of water.

Six-year-old Vivian appeared to say something to Brady, as he walks up to her and holds her hand. “We’re going to jump all the way out, OK,” the quarterback then instructed his daughter as they prepare to jump.

Brady then appeared to ask,”Ready?” and counted down to the duo’s jump. Then, they leap in the water, holding hands as a woman screams in the background. Both emerge from the water and swim around after the dive.

Here’s the jump from Brady’s Instagram account.

If this is even close to the worst case of bad parenting you’ve ever seen, you’ve been leading a charmed life. Granted, that looks a little bit risky and there was the potential for things to go badly, particularly if we were talking about someone with less athletic prowess. But let’s be honest here. The cliff wasn’t that high and he didn’t just shove his little girl off. He held her hand, got her ready and made the jump strongly enough to drag her out over the water with him. The guy is an athlete with previous cliff diving experience from much greater heights.

And they made the jump! The water was obviously deep enough because they both disappeared entirely under the surface, only to come up laughing and climbing out of the pool. And given the girl’s genetic heritage she probably could have stuck the landing anyway. The criticism of this seems more than a little overblown.

So does this make Tom Brady a terrible person? Of course not. I mean, it’s beyond question that Tom Brady is a terrible person, but not because of his parenting skills. He’s almost singlehandedly engineered a sinister plot to keep the New York Jets out of the playoffs (to say nothing of the Super Bowl) for years. By definition, he’s obviously a terrible person. And he cheats! Sadly, he puts the lie to the old adage about how cheaters never prosper, but here we are.

So if you want to criticize Tom Brady, feel free. But let’s reserve that criticism for when he’s doing his usual terrible things in the NFL. He took his daughter out swimming and cliff jumping. At least she wasn’t sitting home in their mansion with her eyes glued to a screen. Give them a break.