Tom Brady calls President Trump’s comments ‘divisive’

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady watches from the sideline during the second half of an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) –AP

Tom Brady did not weigh in on President Donald Trump’s comments about the NFL after Sunday’s win against the Texans. One day later, though, he decided to answer questions about the president’s remarks directly

“I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive,’’ Brady said on WEEI. “I just want to support my teammates. I am never one that says, ‘Oh, that’s wrong’ or ‘that’s right,’ but I do believe in what I believe in.

“I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me. That’s how I try to live every day. I have been blessed to be in a locker room with guys all over the United States over the course of my career. Some of my great friends are from Florida, Virginia, New York, Montana, Colorado, Texas.

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“The one thing about football is it brings so many guys together — guys you would never have the opportunity to be around. Whether it was in college, and all the way into the pros. We’re all different, we’re all unique, and that’s what makes us all special.’’

Brady was asked if the president’s comments actually worked in the team’s favor and made them closer.

“I’m not sure,’’ he said. “It remains to be seen. Hopefully it brings everyone together.

“When you’re in a locker room full of 53 players, you’re working to a common goal. You support the guys that you play with and you support your coaches, your coaches support you.

“You’re navigating your way through life. These things aren’t easy. Everyone deals with different challenges in their life and you respect everyone’s opinions and views.

“You don’t have to agree with everything. It’s hard to agree with your own wife on everything from day to day.’’

Patriots kneel while Tom Brady and others lock arms

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More than a dozen Patriots players either kneeled or locked arms in solidarity during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans. It was the Patriots’ first form of public protest.

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Brady discussed again why he chose to stand for the national anthem, one hand over his heart, and the other arm linked as part of a chain with Phillip Dorsett. He also spoke to his Instagram post from before the game — a picture of himself and running back James White, with the caption, “Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work. #nflplayer.’’

“I have a lot of respect for the players around the league and for obviously my teammates,’’ he said. “I said after the game I just love my teammates and it takes a lot to play in the NFL.

“The guys that have played in the past really paved the way for us and what I thought in that post is that is what makes this game great — players, coaches that come together for one goal, to try and go out there and do the best we can do every week.

“It certainly is not an easy game. It’s intense. You sacrifice a lot. We’re all making a choice to do that. We love doing that and I love being out there playing with my teammates. It’s a great blessing in my life. That’s kind of how I felt.’’

Coach Bill Belichick refrained from addressing the matter after the game Sunday and in his media availability on Monday. He did release a statement Monday afternoon that managed to address neither the president’s comments nor the protests.

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men,’’ the statement read.

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“I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience.

“As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics. Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis. They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team. I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private.

“I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.’’

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