On September 3, Tom Brady joined the roster of athletes signaling their direct or indirect support of Colin Kaepernick’s controversial Nike ad.
Brady liked several Instagram posts of Kaepernick’s ad the same day that it was officially revealed to the public. Kaepernick has been a free agent for the NFL since last year, when his on-the-field protests during the national anthem against police brutality ignited a massive nation-wide controversy.
Brady hasn’t exactly been known for being politically outspoken in the past. Here’s what you need to know.
1. Brady Liked Several Instagram Posts of the Ad, But Did Not Post it on His Own Account
According to DailyMail, Brady liked several posts pertaining to Kaepernick’s controversial Nike ad, which was released on September 4th. The ad reads, “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”
2. Brady Has Said in the Past That He Hopes Kaepernick Gets to Play in the NFL Again
In September of 2017, Brady said of Kaepernick to CBS Sunday Morning, “I’ve always watched him and admired him, the way that he’s played he was a great young quarterback. He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl. He accomplished a lot in the pros as a player. And he’s certainly qualified and I hope he gets a shot.”
Brady wasn’t the only quarterback who signaled his support for Kaepernick being able to keep playing. Aaron Rodgers also said of Kaepernick, “I think he should be on a roster right now. I think because of his protests, he’s not.”
3. Brady Has Made an Effort in the Past to Stay Out of the Conversation Around Kaepernick’s Protests
In the past, though he indicated his belief that Kaepernick should be able to play football, Brady has stayed quit on other matters.
To WEEI in November 2017, Brady said of Kaepernick’s alleged blackballing from the NFL, “You know, I don’t know. … I have no idea if he’s being blackballed,” Brady said. “… I think he was a … I competed against him. I thought he was a damn good quarterback. And he’s played at a high level, brought his team to Super Bowls. You know … that’s how I feel about him.”
4. Kaepernick’s Lawyer Has Claimed That Comments Made by Donald Trump Prevented Kaepernick From Signing With a Team
Mark Geragos, the attorney for Kaepernick, has claimed that comments made by Donald Trump prevented Kaepernick from signing with an NFL team. Geragos explained that an unidentified NFL team owner revealed under oath that he decided not to offer Kaepernick a contract after seeing a tweet by Trump calling for owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem.
Geragos said via USA Today, “In this civil case, there’s no doubt that the existing coaches — and I’m talking about Super Bowl-winning coaches — have testified under oath that he’s a starting quarterback in this league, and so that’s mind boggling.”
5. Brady Has Endured Controversy in the Past Over the Question of His Support for Trump
In recent years, Brady has been the subject of controversy for his alleged support of Trump’s presidency, as well as his refusal to speak out on public issues. However, on the radio show Kirk & Callahan in November, Brady confirmed that he disagreed with Trump over the matter of players kneeling in protest during NFL games.
Brady said, “Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive,” Brady said. “Like I said, I just want to support my teammates.”