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Tom Brady’s role as first name in antitrust case could hurt his image

Tom Brady, Haloti Ngata, Dawan Landry AP

As the first hearing in the high-stakes antitrust lawsuit filed on behalf of all players against every team approaches, the man whose name appears at the top of the stack of the ten named plaintiffs could be taking a hit to his off-field business interests.

Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald explores whether and to what extent the involvement of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in the case of Tom Brady et al. v. National Football League et al. will cause potential corporate partners to shy away from the three-time Super Bowl winner.

“This dispute is going to, if it goes on much further, tar everyone involved with it,” sports business expert Marc Ganis told Rapoport.  “And his name being first and foremost on what may turn out to be a divisive action is not a positive for him.”

But the move, as another expert told Rapoport, gives Brady “street cred” among his peers — something that may or may not diminish the perception that he whines to officials for roughing-the-passer calls, and often gets them.

Though, as Rapoport points out, the presence of Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White’s name at the outset of the first antitrust lawsuit filed by a decertified NFLPA against the league in the early 1990s didn’t impact White’s career on or off the field, that case was pursued under far different circumstances.  The 1987 strike had failed and the players were looking for a way to force the NFL to expand free agency.  The lawsuit did nothing to disrupt the game, and in the end it helped make the NFL far more interesting, unlocking a true hot stove league in the offseason and making following the NFL a 12-month-per-year endeavor.

The Brady case, in contrast, was filed virtually simultaneously with the launch of the current work stoppage.  And if the Brady case is pushed aggressively to trial and if the players win on all points, the NFL would be prevented from placing any restrictions on free agency — and the league possibly would be forced to disband the college draft.

So, basically, Brady could be directly responsible for killing the event that helped place a giant chip on his shoulder when he slid all the way to pick No. 199 in 2000.  And if, in the end, the case produces significant negative changes to the game of pro football like the death of the draft, everyone associated with it will suffer a P.R. hit, especially the ones who are perceived as the leaders of the charge.

Like Brady.

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32 Responses to “Tom Brady’s role as first name in antitrust case could hurt his image”
  1. pondbridge says: Apr 4, 2011 7:30 AM

    Wrong.

  2. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 7:32 AM

    “something that may or may not diminish the perception that he whines to officials for roughing-the-passer calls, and often gets them.”

    “Perception”? What part of that is perceived? I am pretty sure that is common knowledge fact.

  3. ButkisMyDick says: Apr 4, 2011 7:36 AM

    Awesome for him and the rest involved to stand up and take the risk. I don’t care how much you hate a QB/player on the field, you’ve got to respect them for doing this.

  4. concoursrider says: Apr 4, 2011 7:43 AM

    I don’t see how that would hurt Brady. Am I wrong to assume that Brady’s name is on it first because they list in alphabetical order? Oh and how is this the “Brady” case? Aren’t there other NFL players on the lawsuit as well? It shouldn’t hurt any players career because IT’S BUSINESS!! I love how these owners play that card, but when it comes to the players using it, they have a problem.

    As a Patriots fan, I don’t have a problem with it and in the whole scheme of things, Brady has been resigned and will be our QB for the future. I do have a problem with Jonathan Kraft hoping that Brady was having difficulties joining the lawsuit. It’s business Johnny boy and you of all people should know that!!

    Oh and one more thing about his image, HE’S GOT GISELE!!!! What else does he need besides her…..and Ugg’s?? (Oh Tom did you really have to be the spokesman for Uggs? Really??)

  5. foobarfoofoo says: Apr 4, 2011 7:48 AM

    As the great philosopher Jim Mora the elder once put it:

    Coulda … woulda … shoulda.

  6. mightymightylafootball says: Apr 4, 2011 7:56 AM

    To quote the first post in this thread: Wrong.

    He’s an single multi-millionaire pretty boy NFL QB who’s bangin’ a supermodel.

    I’m betting his ‘image’ is gonna do just fine.

  7. fordwuzanazi says: Apr 4, 2011 8:00 AM

    For a guy who loved Bush and identifies as a conservative, he sure is using his own union for his economic benefit. I wonder if he supports workers rights of the middle and lower classes like he does his own. If so that is a big piece of contradictory hypocrisy by him (typical).

  8. phinheads says: Apr 4, 2011 8:03 AM

    Highly doubt it

  9. toledoohoh says: Apr 4, 2011 8:05 AM

    chapnastier:
    ““Perception”? What part of that is perceived? I am pretty sure that is common knowledge fact.”

    No, it’s perception.

    The statistics show that he (and Peyton Manning) in no way benefit from calls. But who cares about facts.

  10. realitypolice says: Apr 4, 2011 8:13 AM

    You’re living in a dream world if you think for one second that: a) Brady’s image will take a hit from this, and b) he cares one tiny bit about whether it does or not.

    It’s funny how myopic you can be. On one hand, you post these articles about how fans may be souring on NFL players due to the ongoing labor dispute, while on the other hand reporting on at least three separate occasions about incidents this offseason that directly arose from events where fans paid relatively large amounts of money in order to meet a player and get their autograph:

    -The Leshean McCoy incident
    -The Mike Vick incident
    -The Hakuri Nakamura charity event

    So even DURING the lockout, fans are still clamoring to meet and get autographs from NFL players.

    And you worried what may happen AFTER the lockout ends?

    Everyone will be back, including everyone on here posting about how they are “done” with the NFL.

    Everyone.

  11. mightymightylafootball says: Apr 4, 2011 8:23 AM

    realitypolice says:
    Apr 4, 2011 8:13 AM

    “You’re living in a dream world if you think for one second that: a) Brady’s image will take a hit from this, and b) he cares one tiny bit about whether it does or not.”

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    I now come to this site for the realitypolice quotes more than anything else.

    Dude, I hope someone is paying you for your skills.

    *bow*

  12. realitypolice says: Apr 4, 2011 8:34 AM

    @mightymightylafootball:

    If you weren’t being sarcastic, thanks.

    If you were being sarcastic, thanks.

    I used to blog for a couple other sites, unfortunately they paid the same thing I get here:

    squadoosh.

    And this is more fun anyway, because the feedback is much more immediate and snarky.

  13. permiepoo says: Apr 4, 2011 8:40 AM

    I’ve never understood this logic as it applies to a millionaire many times over..

    If I’m barely feeding my family of four, I might have to consider whether or not I should speak up to my boss if I feel he’s treating me poorly. Tom Brady suffers from no such burdens.

    If someone who never has to work another day in their life can’t stand up for a position they believe in… who can?

  14. yankeesjetsknicksrangers says: Apr 4, 2011 8:53 AM

    Nothing could hurt his image as bad as getting caught on tape dancing like a stiff at Carnival.

  15. tednancy says: Apr 4, 2011 8:54 AM

    If the NFLPA wins this case and the NFL as we know is destroyed, how can that NOT hurt the image of the guy whose name is on the lawsuit???

    I respect Brady but even his biggest supporters have to be reasonable about what this might mean to his image.

  16. mightymightylafootball says: Apr 4, 2011 9:03 AM

    @realitypolice

    No sarcasm, mi amigo. I dig your posts because, in every case, they’re obviously wrapped up in the premise of your handle. They’re all hilarious and epically relevant and legit.

    Kudos, bother.

  17. kellyb9 says: Apr 4, 2011 9:20 AM

    @chapnastier – Every WR in the league gets up bitching for a pass interference call on every incompletion. How is that any different? You do what you can to win the game… I, for one, respect that.

  18. j0esixpack says: Apr 4, 2011 9:28 AM

    Don’t count Brady out…

    He has future political ambitions and the matter of perception was carefully considered. However being a lead name – indeed THE lead name – on the lawsuit was likely “the offer he couldn’t refuse.”

    QBs are considered the leaders of their team and the leaders in the NFL. Among his brethren QBs he was the only one to have secured an extension prior to the lockout – hence, he would take the bullet as the lead name.

    As far as future political ambitions, Brady probably leans Republican – i.e. typically towards Management rather than Labor.

    Yet in this situation there was no option of not being a strong advocate for his fellow players.

    The end result is that Brady likely has locked up his future Union/Democrat support by being the lead name on the lawsuit. Those among the GOP/Management among the voters and special interests will be very forgiving when the time comes in the future – if only because, in politics, as in the NFL, everyone loves a winner.

    Bottom line – Brady’s never been one to sell out his name for money as Manning and others have for Madison Avenue – he’s got his eye on positions of actual leadership and influence in the future – and his role in this lawsuit will help, not hurt, those ambitions.

  19. RussianBreadMaker says: Apr 4, 2011 9:31 AM

    What a way to treat your fan base.

  20. kingjamsi says: Apr 4, 2011 9:37 AM

    fordwuzanazi says:

    For a guy who loved Bush and identifies as a conservative, he sure is using his own union for his economic benefit. I wonder if he supports workers rights of the middle and lower classes like he does his own. If so that is a big piece of contradictory hypocrisy by him (typical).
    ————————————
    False–

    According to Brady, he attended the state of the union because he was invited- not because he was a political supporter of W. (He left it ambiguous weather he was or not) He considers himself an independent, as per his 60 minutes story, but he said something during the 2008 campaign to the effect of “The Republicans have been in there for a while, I hope the Democrats win some seats.”

    And he would be the only conservative I know to support Earth Hour too.

  21. easyeddie says: Apr 4, 2011 9:59 AM

    ButkisMyDick says:
    Apr 4, 2011 7:36 AM
    Awesome for him and the rest involved to stand up and take the risk. I don’t care how much you hate a QB/player on the field, you’ve got to respect them for doing this.

    Brady, Manning, Brees…..The union/association put those three front and center on the lawsuit for PR internal (union) and external (the fans) purposes.
    Risk? Tom Brady, Manning and Brees are taking a risk? WTF is the risk?

  22. dcbronco says: Apr 4, 2011 10:12 AM

    We really are not a serious people if the alphabet can hurt your career.

  23. 2011to2020lions says: Apr 4, 2011 10:15 AM

    I wouldn’t want to be know as the guy who took away the NFL Draft away from us fans, I know that!!!

  24. ggeden says: Apr 4, 2011 10:27 AM

    How exactly would the Draft be taken away if the NFLPA* wins the court case?

  25. fordwuzanazi says: Apr 4, 2011 10:33 AM

    @kingjamsi

    I was not aware of Brady’s possible lean left.

    Identifying as an independent and probably having opinions that are sometimes left and sometimes right, I guess the guy thinks for himself instead of just going with whatever party leadership decides is the line, right or left. If that is the case then kudos to him.

  26. chapnastier says: Apr 4, 2011 11:02 AM

    The only people who don’t think Manning and Brady cry every time a defender gets close to them are Colts and Patriots fans.

  27. olcap says: Apr 4, 2011 11:23 AM

    I agree – it could hurt his image as Robert Kraft’s lap dog.

  28. packerrube13 says: Apr 4, 2011 11:34 AM

    @Chapnastier,

    Wrong. I for one think it’s overblown. (And my fanhood is clear in my name, I would hope) But continue your bitterness. Please, this is a great platform to whine.

  29. packerrube13 says: Apr 4, 2011 11:35 AM

    And Realitypolice is dead on, as usual.

    If you want my opinion (you don’t), go read his post again and that’s my opinion. ]

    Thanks.

  30. godofwine330 says: Apr 4, 2011 11:43 AM

    Who cares about image. It is more important to do the right thing than it is to worry about how you will be perceived by people with no connection to you or the situation. I know guys that love a woman, have kids with a woman, but won’t marry her because their friends believe that getting married is for suckers. People who are smart but don’t go to class because their friends it’s not cool to be a square or a brainer.

    I am cool on my island. I don’t mind being different. I am a Brad Paisley playing/singing, country music loving, Black man in Ohio. I shocked my little town when I got up at karaoke and sang the long version of Friends in Low Places (people didn’t think anything of it until they saw me singing it and singing it like Garth himself), and then sang The Devil Went Down To Georgia with the next person that got up. I don’t care what the perception of me is because more often than not the perception is inaccurate.

    What Tom Brady is doing is right. He risks nothing. The 47th or 53rd player on a roster couldn’t do this. Hell, not even the 30th player. Why? Because he would be black balled by the league. Brady put his name on it for the 53rd guy on the roster who feels the same way he feels but for the sake of his career he cannot take the risk of speaking up. So my perception of him is honorable man. He who speaks up for those who can’t for fear of reprisal. That is a great thing to do. That has won him the respect of the people that matter to him and that is more important than his perceived image.

    (I made this comment before, but it was deleted. Maybe someone didn’t like my Christmas Story-esque “But I didn’t say fudge. I said THE word…” But I didn’t say the word at least.)

  31. dcbronco says: Apr 4, 2011 11:55 AM

    GG, if the players win. The draft could be deemed an anti-trust violation. Companies are not allowed to work together to limit a persons ability to make as much money as they can. The Supreme Court decided last year that the NFL is 32 different companies. Picking which individuals work for which companies(team) would limit a players option.

    It’s like saying a reporter coming out of college would have to work at ESPN even if CBS Sports was offering more money.

  32. joetoronto says: Apr 4, 2011 11:57 AM

    That horse has bolted the barn.

    The perception of Brees and Brady has already changed for the worst. It’s natural for Pats & Saints fans not to see it, that’s all.

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