Why ESPY-winner Rob Mendez calls Tom Brady an ‘inspiration’

"That's where I got my passion for football, was from Tom Brady."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JULY 10:  Rob Mendez poses with t2019 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance during The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)
Rob Mendez poses with the 2019 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance during The 2019 ESPYs –(Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images)

While the 2019 ESPYs honored both the Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski and the Celtics’ Bill Russell, one Boston sports figure served as a special inspiration to an award winner Wednesday night.

Rob Mendez, a football coach at Prospect Hill High School in California, called Patriots quarterback Tom Brady his source of “inspiration” on the football field. Mendez, born with tetra-amelia syndrome that left him without arms or legs, was awarded the 2019 Jimmy V Award for Perseverance.

After the award ceremony, Mendez talked about how Brady inspired him and why he would give the Patriots QB his own ESPY award:

Mendez: “If I had to recommend an ESPY it would be Tom Brady for sharing his passion with everyone. That’s where I got my passion for football, was from [Brady]. How excited he gets on the sidelines and how he leads his troops and the other players. It’s so inspiring to watch him on the sidelines get fired up and I love [Brady] for the passion and fire that he has.”

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In response, Brady extended his support via Instagram on Thursday morning,  giving Mendez his own special shout out and quoting his award speech.

@tombrady —@tombrady