Tom Brady is not interested in your social activism


It’s not hard to find an image of Tom Brady, whether it’s in his role as the quarterback of the Patriots or on one of his many advertising opportunities.

But he said Monday he’s not interested in using his platform as an agent of social change.

During an interview with WEEI, Brady did his best to avoid saying much of anything about Ray Rice, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson, or anything else.

I try to stay in my lane. All of those things, none of it’s really my business or my control,” Brady said, via Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal. “I’ve just been focusing on the games and what I can do better. The things that are taking place on other teams or league-wide decisions, those are a different pay grade than me.”

Asked if he could be a spokesman for any of the issues for the players, Brady said that wasn’t his role.

“I certainly have a lot of personal feelings toward all those things, but it’s just, there’s nothing I can do,” he said. “If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference. The owners of the league, the commissioner of the league, the teams themselves, the players that are involved, they’re the ones that are speaking on it. It’s not really my responsibility to speak out about those things, because there are a lot of other people doing the talking.

“I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things. I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can. Those things are happening. I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

While Brady’s certainly within his rights to mind his own business, the idea that there’s nothing he can do is well short of the truth.

Athletes have used their platforms for causes in the past, with tremendous results. And if the league was serious about changing its image as it relates toward domestic violence or other issues, they’d be wise to ask players such as Brady to help spread the word that putting your hands on women and children was not OK.

It’s one thing for a player such as Terrance Knighton to speak out, but when the players with the loudest voices stay silent, it’s easy for the message to be lost.

100 responses to “Tom Brady is not interested in your social activism

  1. “It’s one thing for a player such as Terrance Knighton to speak out, but when the players with the loudest voices stay silent, it’s easy for the message to be lost.”

    that is a poor assumption to make. Brady has no obligation to jump into this. People shouldn’t be ok with child abuse, or hitting women, until tom brady says its not ok.

  2. There isn’t anything he can do. Talking doesn’t solve problems. What is he going to say that hasn’t been said already? Don’t hit women. Everyone knows that and it still happens. Don’t kill people. Everyone knows that and it still happens.

    If Brady says anything it’ll become a distraction to the team.

  3. Its not Tom’s business so if he chooses not to speak about those topics, that’s his choice. Blogging about what you think he should or should not do isn’t going to affect him.

  4. “I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

    Good call, Tom. Saying things like “I’m against child abuse” or “A man should never hit a woman” can be a real career killer.

  5. “I certainly have a lot of personal feelings toward all those things, but it’s just, there’s nothing I can do,”

    Uhh yeah there is something you can do. Speak out against abuse.

    “I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things. I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can. Those things are happening. I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.”

    Then you’re a coward.

  6. Surprise, Brady doesn’t want to play ball and give the media lots of headlines. He just wants to, you know, shut up and -play- ball. Non-news at 10.

    (see also, Belichick, Bill)

  7. Not everyone has to be involved in this. No one is going to stop beating their wife because Tom Brady said “hey that’s bad”.

  8. Tom Brady is smart to stay out of it. Reporters love it when they can rope you into saying something controversial so they can have a whole weeks worth of headlines talking about it and twisting it to sound more controversial.

  9. Brady is 100% correct. It seems like people have made domestic violence a NFL issue, when it happens every day.
    The NFL is a big fish, and the media eyes got long when it they saw they had an opportunity to bring the NFL down. While the ESPN’s and major networks reporting how bad these NFL players are, just remember, they hire guys who commit these crimes too. They get help from a program that the company offers, and then they are back to work.
    I am glad that Brady isn’t with this fake outrage. Because in reality, there is nothing he can do, he is just the quarterback for the New England patriots.

  10. He’s paid a salary to win football games. Brady for the majority of his career has gone out and done that. The world as a whole is regressing and no amount of NFL players are going to fix that. Let’s move on.

  11. I for one don’t care either. Go watch miss America pageant If you want to feel good about yourself, and hear a bunch of empty promises to make the world a better place. I’m trying to watch football.

  12. Is Tom Terrific slowing down? Showing his age?

    After the first 2 games of this season, Tom is 33rd out of 35 QB’s in completion percentage.

    Again, not just one game, but two games.

    Last season his completion percentage was his lowest of his past 9 seasons (not counting ’08 injured yr).

    His QB rating was his lowest in the past 8 seasons (again, not counting the few plays from the whole year he missed due to injury in ’08).

    His defenders will say but, but, but the quality of his receivers.

    Father Time is undefeated and he is getting older.

    Brady is 28th out of 35 in QB rating after the first two games this season.

    Brady is LAST in yards per attempt after 2 games this year.

    Well, everyone, even the all time greats slow down eventually.

  13. Because having the cameras shine on you while being invited to one of President Bush’s State of the Unions is definitely “staying in your lane”

  14. Brady is a selfish coward. He’s in a position to do a great deal of good for society, but he can’t be bothered. After all, he’s rich and famous. Why put himself out for those who are vulnerable and abused, right? “There’s nothing I can do,” he says. “I really don’t want to be involved in any of those things…I just don’t want my name mentioned in any of those situations that are happening.” How pathetic and how wrong. He can take a moral stance and speak out against the abuse of women and children, which is what any real man in a position of influence ought to be doing. Brady is apparently spineless and just doesn’t feel like dealing with a social issue that might end up costing him a little bit. It’s disappointing to see the NFL’s stars falling one by one. I’ve been an NFL fan for decades, but I’m rethinking that very seriously (not that they care, because I’m only one person and I’m not rich). Frankly, it’s disgusting to see the lack of moral fiber in the NFL.

  15. Before the jokes about him advocating the videotaping of other team’s practices, etc. begins below, Brady is right. He’s a football player. He’s focused on his job. And that’s all I want and need from him as a football fan.

  16. …but to think that any of these people should have any say just because they play a sport well is not exactly the best recipe for a moral compass.

    we all like being on a team but the fans of a sport are not on any team,

  17. Why does he have to say anything? Tom Brady isn’t involved in anything to do with Ray Rice or Adrian Peterson. Don’t we have enough examples of players in this league saying something about the topic du jour and getting slayed by the media because they didn’t sat the “RIGHT” thing?

    Honestly, I think he’s smart for pleading the 5th. Don’t create problems or distractions for you or your team if you don’t have to.

  18. You are right that people like Tom Brady could make a difference, but its the media outlets like this and others that put a microscope on every comment made and portray those people as inconsistent liars when another comment even two years later about something completely different, can show the slightest variation in thought or intent. Stay quiet Tom, and do your job of being an NFL QB the best you can.

  19. .
    With law enforcement, judicial, and league inquiries already underway in several different cases, now is not the time for any player to interject himself into these affairs .

  20. “…but when the players with the loudest voices stay silent, it’s easy for the message to be lost.”

    Do you really believe there is any way on this earth that this message could get lost??? Everyone and their mother have been weighing in on the Peterson-Rice-Hardy-McDonald issues non-stop for weeks.

    ESPN and NFLN actually gave up the hours normally dedicated to Johnny Manziel and Michael Sam, to devote full-time coverage of these scandals, the repercussions of them, each reporter’s opinions of them, the legal angle, of what should happen next, of how the league itself is doomed because of it.

    They’ve covered every angle ad nauseum, and you want to insinuate that somehow the message will get lost if Tom Brady doesn’t provide a soundbite??? Dear Lord.

  21. why should Brady be put on the spot? like he said, “I try to live and make the best decisions possible on and off the field and represent our organization and represent my family as best I can.” he’s doing his part leading by example…

  22. It’s not social activism time. It’s not friend time. It’s not time to suck.

    “I try to stay in my lane.” Seriously, Brady’s responses lately are genius. Thanks UofM! He’s brilliant.

  23. Tom Brady does not need to fight your fight, my fight or anyone else’s fight if he doesn’t want to.

    And I believe it’s more selfish for people to put that onus on a player — than it is for a clean player to choose to stay out of it, and keep his focus on winning games.

    Now, if Brady was knocking out women and the like, then he would be obligated make matters right. But he’s done nothing of the kind — and others shouldn’t try to blame Brady or guilt him into working their causes.

  24. why is it his responsibility to chime in on this? he’s already heavily involved with charities during the offseason, in particular with special needs kids to help them get a higher quality of life. isn’t that enough?

  25. why should he? why put his name anywhere near such messed up situations when the league and ownership have not the slightest clue how to handle any of them appropriately? glad to see he’s focused (maybe on scoring a TD in the second half of a game) and not distracted by the moronic behavior of other players in the league

  26. As a Bills fan not the biggest Brady supporter but, what do you want the guy to say? If Tom takes a stand on this subject what good does it do? What change happens? What does he have to gain? You don’t condone the act just because you aren’t outspoken about it

  27. Good for Tom. Stay out of the churn. Too many talking heads and hypocrites fighting for the mike. Cris Carter? Puhleeze….

  28. Tom is right. It isn’t his place to voice his opinion on his employer or on another team’s problems. I think the way you see him with his wife and kids speaks loud and clear on his stance with domestic violence and child abuse.

    Stop trying to pull the Patriots into the mess of other teams. Every team has their share of controversy – and yes, every team does have controversy – so stop casting a net to see who else you can drag down in this despicable mess. Goodell and the legal system needs to step up, be men and clean this up.

  29. As a Bills fan, I have come to hate Tom Brady with such an unwaivering passion for the daecade or so of beatdowns he has layed on us. That being said, I respect the hell out of his position on this. He is not going to get involved in issues that don’t have anything to do with Patriots football. He is completely devoted to his job and isn’t going to let the media drag his name into the circus that is going on in the NFL right now. I personally don’t care whether Ray Rice ever plays again and I certainly don’t want to read another article about it. All I want is actual football coverage. Sadly I don’t think I’ll get my wish anytime soon.

  30. No, in point of fact when Brady says “If I make a comment about it, there’s nothing I can do to make a difference” he is almost certainly right.

    Celebrities — be they Brady, Bono, Springsteen or whomever — can’t solve the world’s problems.

    OK, maybe a comment might help. A little.

    And yeah, it might have been a feel good soundbite if Brady had editorialized on the issue. (I could smirk and say we have TV sports reporters already fulfilling that function).

    But if some guy is actually undecided on the issue of hitting women, input or advice from Tom Brady isn’t going to help them decide.

    His coach’s mantra is “do your job.” The NFL et al should have been doing just that from Day One on all this. That’s where the activism should have originated.

  31. I know, hard to believe, some professional athletes simply want to do what they are paid to do. If they wanted to push a social change agenda, they would be in the media……

  32. This is shocking IMO. I doubt you’d find any player in the NFL who would agree with what Ray Rice and Greg Hardy did, thus making it very easy to simply state how egregious their acts were and leave it at that. Brady is treating this thing like the plague because I don’t think he gets it; the simple notion of how a man could do something like that to a woman. I respect Tom for acknowledging he can’t even begin to understand what went through the heads of Ray Rice and Greg Hardy, thus isn’t about to try and identify with the problem they have created for the league.

    – An ignorantly biased Bronco fan.

  33. All he has to do is say: abuse is wrong.

    If you are a role model, you have to speak up.

    It’s not just on “other teams” statistically it is likely happening on his team. He need to make it clear how he feels about it on his team.

  34. I agree with Brady. I sat with my young son to watch pregame this weekend, and all they talked about was abuse. As Brady said, a lot of other people are talking. And what is there to be said? All decent people know you don’t hit women and children. I don’t need Tom Brady to tell me that (or anything about Michael Sam), and would rather hear him talk about the game. CNN is one station below ESPN on my TV, and I can arrow down if I want to listen to people discuss social issues.

  35. Great job of not taking the bait from the media. They’re leeches looking for controversy so they can sell their filth to viewers who love filth. Your job requires you to answer their questions about football so keep it to that and don’t let them take you outside your area of expertise. When they want opinions on social issues, tell them to ask their bosses.

  36. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke

    And extremely influential men doing nothing? That’s even worse.

  37. A player focusing on what he’s paid to do and not take a political stance on something? Refreshing.

  38. Sorry to say but it is in his interest to say something. He is part of the NFL. He makes a living off the NFL. What he is not is an ostrich sticking his head into the ground in order to prevent hearing or seeing something that is totally wrong.

  39. Good for him not being pressured into a forced activism.
    The mere notion that if Tom Brady other big-name athletes banding together will somehow cure domestic violence or child abuse is absurd. The onus is on the individual not to commit the act in the first place.

  40. I agree with him that it’s his free choice to stay in his own lane, but I don’t agree that he can’t change anything. He could influence social change quite a bit if he really wanted to. The voices that do strive towards that will just have to step up their game. There are billions of people out there that are counting on those voices to be strong.

  41. This is the media looking for more people to blame why drag brady into this so as to twist his comments …who doesnt know domestic violence and child abuse is wrong? stop with this coward stuff ….what are you doing to make a difference… it is below his pay grade…i fully agree with his stance…what has manning rodgers brees said yet?

  42. I don’t agree with him that he can’t do anything, but I also completely understand his perspective. Tom is in the fortunate/unfortunate position that whatever he says or does, it will never be right. Athletes like himself, Lebron, Kobe, Jeter, etc people will listen and analyze everything they say and it can bring about change. The other side to that though is it will also bring them criticism for only talking about it now as good PR, not being good teammates and keeping quiet, etc.

    If Tom wants to say something great, if he doesn’t that’s fine too. This is 1 of those things where he is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.

  43. The NFL is a job… It’s not politics. Brady’s responsibility is to do what’s best for his team. Nothing he said would satisfy anyone and it would bring distractions to his team. The NFL need to do their job.. The best thing to do for Brady is to set a good example, which he does. Doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t abuse his kids or hit his wife. Maybe he will do something illegal in the future, but he keeps his nose clean. Saying Rice should be suspended cannot help him. Saying he doesn’t agree with domestic violence is obvious.

  44. Remember when Ben rothlisbuger attacked those women and was suspended.

    The media can’t ask Ben because anything he says will fall on deaf ears due to his past history.

    I’m glad Brady just wants to do his job.

  45. Smart guy. He literally has everything in the world that any straight American man could ever want. Why screw that up?

  46. Maybe, just maybe, he does not want to cast stones because he knows he is not perfect either (like Mike Florio) and he does not want to look like a hypocrite when things go wrong. Remember, Ray Rice spoke out about Hines Ward’s DUI a few years ago and how stupid does he look now?

  47. I have a new found respect for Tom Brady. This idea that just because you achieve celebrity status, you are obligated to become a spokesman/activist for someone else’s issues/agenda is ludicrous.

  48. Good for Tom and he is 100% right. The media has on crusades for social activism over the years losing their integrity of being a profession that reports the facts, on all sides, without giving their opinions so that other people can make informed decisions. Unfortunately, the media today thinks their social position should be accepted and will stop at nothing to push it on everyone else. Please see the Redskins name situation as a perfect example.

  49. I like how the media feels the need to tell everyone what they should and shouldn’t do, what they should and shouldn’t think. Know your role, Jimney Cricket.

  50. Seems like a slippery slope to ask players to speak out for someone else’s agenda. What if it comes to an issue that they don’t agree with? Will they be allowed to opt out without the wrath of social media and regular media?

  51. Wow, he’s completely spineless.

    Needs to cheat to win, and has no moral backbone.

    Only a real loser would find it difficult to stand-up for abused women and children.

  52. Brady’s advertising over the years has been much more low key compared to Pizza/Buick/Cut That Meat Boy, Subway Boy III, heck even Jonny Clipboard has done more commercials in the last 6 months than Brady has done in the last 15 years. What do you want Brady to do, idiotically join Twitter and start calling Hardy a Donkey Kong nimrod or Rice a fantasy league killer? Oh wait, there’s plenty of others to pick up the slack.

  53. What does Brady have to gain by throwing Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson under the bus? He can’t make a difference or force Roger Goodell to do something he doesn’t want to do. He’s not LeBron James, who runs the NBA. I’m sure Brady would speak out against Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson if he were comfortable doing so, but there are no benefits to doing that. He’d be in Goodell’s dog house.

  54. On a different pay grade then me? LOL Brady probably makes more then almost any coach or FO staff!

  55. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point the idea of a role model became synonymous with athletes, celebrities, and reality-tv “stars.” I grew up looking up to my mother and certain teachers/educators who helped me on the right path. Imho, parents, educators and civil servants should be true role models.

    Tom Brady is a football player. He gets paid to play football. He didn’t get a contract to discuss social events, nor should be expected or required to do so. Why is it his responsibility to weigh in on these issues? Oh because kids look up to him? That may be a reality but the true problem in our country is that people are all talk and no action. People say the right things and let their actions say something completely different. I think that Tom IS saying something by you know, not beating his wife or driving drunk or abusing his children or being caught with weed or bringing guns to the airport (at least i havent seen any leaked report of it).

    Why do we invest so much in what people say when actions speak true volumes?

  56. He’s a football player, not the DA. If he didn’t venture an opinion on Aaron Hernandez, whom he new well, and played on the same team with, why would he speak out about someone on another team? Not his clown…. not his circus. How about asking him his opinion on why Stevan Ridley can’t run outside the tackles?

    Everyone in North America has an opinion on this issue… and lately, you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone with a microphone asking someone else about Ray Rice, or Adrian Peterson.

    NO ONE, including Ray and Adrian themselves condones abusive behavior. The civilised and free world at large has spoken in a very clear voice on the matter. The legal system and their employers will act according to the laws and rules that apply. Tom Brady’s opinion won’t change that any more than mine will.

    …or would the media like him to take on that whole ISIS thing, and help clear that up too?

  57. I would bet that Belichick asked the players, including Tom Brady, to all stay in their lanes. None of them ever spoke out about Aaron Hernandez and you shouldn’t expect them to talk about Ray Rice either. For what it’s worth, Brady probably is against domestic violence. That’s my hunch. What else is he supposed to say?

  58. Good on Brady for not allowing himself to be lured into the medias’ attempt to either further vilify Rice/Hardy/Peterson, or shame people who refuse to vilify players, who refuse to pile onto those guys.

  59. Brady has the right not say a word and he shouldn’t be condemned for it. However, he is incorrect in saying his comments wouldn’t make a difference. Because, yes they would.

    Staying silent is enabling. And the NFL has enabled long enough. It may be time for the star players, who fans care about and are faces of the league, to speak out on issues that tarnish the game. the same game that Brady has played (and lived) the right way for their careers.

    If you don’t think a stars comments will help then why do advertisers pay them millions to sell a product. Because you – NFL viewers – listen to them.

    The star players who take care of their business have to be fed up with this players ruining their efforts, hard work and NFL brand.

  60. Brady “Not going to comment on that”

    Media – “Waaaaaaaaaa Brady won’t play our game and let himself be baited by us”

    Brady “Makes comment on the Rice / domestic violence situation”

    Media distortion – “Brady thinks Rice, Hardy and others should never be allowed to play again” followed by weeks of articles and press conferences trying to bait him about their distortion of what he said.

    Thanks for being far smarter than the media Tom.

  61. And another thing, how many times have we seen numerous commenters crying they don’t want to hear people like Klue or other players speaking out about social issues when they disagree with what the player is saying.

    Now Brady refuses to get involved with the media and social agenda and you condemn him for not speaking out.

    If he spoke out about the racism in the Washington team name there would be 300 comments telling him to shut up.

    If he spoke out in favor of gay marriage or gay rights there would be 300 comments telling him to shut up.

    Just sayin’

  62. Translation:

    I’m all about the money, & and voicing opinion, belief or otherwise taking a stand on anything may impact my ability to be tremendously overpaid (like most athletes/celebrities) to play a game many do for free.

    My only opinion that matters is what I eat, clothes I wear, car I drive, look pretty, …

  63. Nothing you can do to make a difference? Really? Wow. Just say what you really mean. You are a coward to say anything cause you don’t want your teammates and other players thinking you hurt the bottom line. $$$$$ It all comes down to $$$$$.

    Mr. Brady, you could make a difference. Your teammates could make a difference. Your team could make a difference. Every single person in the NFL or associated with the NFL could make a difference.


    Speak out against this!

    Steroids, hgh, amphetamines, drugs, drinking, drunk driving, domestic violence, multiple kids from multiple mothers, guns, murder, threats, suicides, dog fighting, the list goes on and on…

  64. Really tough to say as a Jet fan, but….Smart move on Brady’s part. Why feed the media with anything that you’re involved in. I’m sure he has an opinion, but this is an NFL issue, not a Brady issue.
    Tom Brady “speaking out” on an issue won’t change a thing.
    He doesn’t draft players, he doesn’t chose who to dress and start, he just plays football.
    It actually took a pair to keep out of it.

  65. Does the name Chris Kluwe ring a bell? Tom Brady is quarterback. It’s not his job to make decisions regarding suspensions of players–particularly those playing on other teams. His job is to lead the New England Patriots and try to win football games. You know, football.

    As a Steelers fan, I hope Roethlisberger has the good sense to take the same approach if asked. If they want to help, they can donate to a battered women’s shelter.

  66. Understand… His organization… His coach… His family and his obligation not to create a distraction for his team are the driving forces here. Tom is keeping his focus where it needs to be. Trying to win football games. That is what he is paid for.

    Do not confuse that with him not having an opinion … I am sure he does…. He is smart to keep it to himself until he has a platform to share it without it coming back on the Patriots and what they are trying to accomplish… that is just being wicked smart.


  67. Nothing Brady can do that the NFL sponsors cant do better.

    Also many advertising opportunities? As far as I know Brady only as three, Uggs Movado and Smart Water. Maybe you were thinking of Peyton Manning?

  68. I just want to watch football. Football gets rid of the bad aftertaste of church. It gives you the only 2 hours a week when your brain isn’t stuck on sex (which is why I didn’t want to hear about Michael Sam). So — write what you want about all these other issues and distractions. I’m not paying attention.

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