Tom Brady got on the phone with SiriusXM’s Howard Stern on Wednesday for a two-hour interview that covered everything from his departure from New England, and his relationship with his wife Gisele, to some of the legendary stories of his first year with the Patriots.
Brady and Stern also touched on their respective relationships with President Donald Trump. Trump had been a regular guest on Stern’s show for some time and attended his wedding. Brady was a semi-regular golf buddy of Trump’s and was infamously photographed with a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker during the run-up to the 2016 election.
During their conversation, Brady and Stern shared that they had both been invited by Trump to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention but turned down the requests.
“He wanted me to speak at that convention too,” Brady said after Stern had shared his own invitation. “It was probably very similar to the relationship that you had with him.”
“He would call me after games and say ‘I watched your game, Tom, let’s play golf together,'” Brady said. “So 2003, 2004, that’s kind of the way it was. We would golf, then he would come up to our games and stand on the sideline and cheer for the Patriots.”
Brady said that he was still fond of Trump personally, but argued that friendship is different from political support.
“He always had a way of connecting with people, and still does,” Brady said of Trump. “And then the whole political aspect came, and I think I got brought into those things because it was so polarizing around the election. It was uncomfortable for me because you can’t undo things, not that I would undo a friendship, but political support is totally different than the support of a friend.”
Brady also criticized the polarized nature of the current political scene, arguing that leaders should be working together for the betterment of the country. “For my profession, leadership, responsibility, is about embracing the whole and trying to bring people together to lead them to a common goal,” Brady said.
Brady’s relationship with Trump has come into focus several times since his entrance into politics. After Trump won the presidency, Brady attempted to distance himself somewhat from him after his remarks on NFL players who knelt for the anthem in protest of police brutality and racial inequity in the justice system.
At a rally in Alabama, Trump said he wished NFL owners would “fire” protesting players, adding “Get that son of a b—- off the field right now.”
“I certainly disagree with what he said,” Brady said at the time. “I thought it was just divisive. Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ 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 is how I try and live every day.”
After the Patriots came back dramatically to defeat the Atlanta Falcons in overtime at Super Bowl LI, the team celebrated with a customary visit to the White House.
Brady did not attend, citing “personal family matters.”
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