If Tom Brady picked up a phone and called President Trump in the days leading up to his inauguration, he would prefer for that to remain a state secret, thank you very much.
“I have called him, yes, in the past. Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call,” the New England Patriots quarterback said Monday morning on WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” show, detailing his dialing habits. “But, again, that’s been someone I’ve known. I always try to keep it in context because for 16 years you know someone before maybe he was in the position that he was in. He’s been very supportive of me for a long time. It’s just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. I call a lot of people.”
Brady has tried to dodge political talk about Trump throughout the regular season, and he was taking evasive action again last week after Trump addressed Patriots owner Robert Kraft during a pre-inaugural dinner, saying, “Your friend Tom just called. He feels good. He called to congratulate us. He feels good.” Brady might have let the topic die after that statement, but he elaborated the morning after the Patriots advanced to Super Bowl LI.
“Why does everybody make such a big deal?” he said. “I don’t understand it.”
It has been a rather big deal ever since a “Make America Great Again” cap was spotted in Brady’s locker during the 2015 season. He, along with Coach Bill Belichick, have been asked again and again about the friendship with Trump. During a campaign stop the weekend before the election, Trump proclaimed in New Hampshire that Brady had voted for him and Belichick had sent a supportive note. But Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, replied “NO!” to an Instagram user who asked if she and Brady supported Trump.
Last October, he described a relationship based on golf and Trump’s support for the football team. On Monday, Brady said that even the best of friends and golfing buddies do not always agree on every single thing.
“I don’t want to get into it, but if you know someone it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do. You have a lot of friends in your life,” Brady said. “I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”
With a Super Bowl less than two weeks away, Brady least of all wants to create the thing football coaches hate most: a distraction.
“I just don’t want to be a distraction for our team. There are too many guys that are working hard in one direction to help us win games to help us get to the point where we are now. You just don’t want to be a distraction. There are too many distractions in life.”
So . . . it’s on to Houston. If the Patriots win the Super Bowl, maybe Brady won’t skip the White House visit the way he did in April 2015.
“I just try and stay positive and actually this world could use a little more positivity,” Brady said. “Everything’s not great in this world and everything is not great in life. But if you try and take a positive approach … I try to do that. I try to do that in practice. I try to do that with my team. I try to do that with my family. That’s how I go about life. I don’t like negativity. I don’t like a lot of confrontation. Those things don’t make me feel very good. I wouldn’t be a good talk show host.”