For the most part, PFT has steered clear of the various quotes and #hottaeks that have emerged in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s attempt to dismiss as locker-room talk his braggadocio regarding an attempt to seduce a married woman, a habit of spontaneously kissing women he finds pleasing to the eye, and a belief that women will let stars do whatever they want.
There are several reasons for that. First, we’re trying to be a refuge from a presidential campaign that has created a worrisome divide in our country, sharpening the I’m-right-and-your-a-idiot rules of engagement to the point where meaningful discourse is nearly impossible.
Second, some excuses are sufficiently implausible to require no analysis or debunking. Most if not all reasonable people realize that locker-room talk doesn’t typically consist of boasting about efforts to lure someone into committing adultery or giving a budding celebrity like Billy Bush pointers on how he can behave once he becomes a full-blown star.
Third, it’s typically a no-win proposition to delve into these matters, given the strong opinions people have regarding politics and sports.
Earlier today, we addressed the reaction of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to a pointed (and loaded) question about Trump’s “locker-room talk.” Asked how Brady would react if his kids heard what Trump said, Brady opted to smile, say “thank you,” and walk away.
Regardless of whether Brady’s failure to express any degree of disapproval or to explain why he didn’t respond reflects tacit approval of the remarks (and reasonable minds can differ on whether it does), the reporter who asked the question missed an opportunity to ask a much more relevant question.
“Donald is a good friend of mine,” Brady said in December on WEEI. “I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say. He’s a good friend of mine. He’s always been so supportive of me. For the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that I thought was really cool that came along with winning the Super Bowl. He’s always invited me to play golf and I’ve always enjoyed his company. I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible businessman and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s three different career paths. I think that is pretty remarkable.”
So instead of jumping right to a question that oozes with righteous indignation, this would have been better: “Tom, you judged a beauty pageant for Donald Trump and you have golfed with him. Has he ever said anything to you like the things he said to Billy Bush?”
For all the NFL players and other athletes who have chimed in this week regarding what is and isn’t “locker-room talk,” Brady is one of the few pro athletes who could comment on actual things he has heard Trump say in similar private settings.
And if Brady had walked away in response to that question, his silence may have said plenty.