Tom Brady on Antonio Brown: “It was just a very difficult situation for everyone involved”

NFL: SEP 19 Falcons at Buccaneers
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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady, in his post-game comments from Sunday, called for empathy and compassion for receiver Antonio Brown. In the latest episode of his Let’s Go! podcast on SiriusXM, Brady reiterated his hope that Brown is able to get through the issues he’s currently dealing with.

“I’ve known Antonio for a couple years now, you know, pretty closely,” Brady told Jim Gray. “We’ve obviously been teammates and I would just say I love him, I care about him, and I have a lot of compassion. I have a lot of empathy for the things that are happening in his life. So it’s a lot of challenges we all face from time to time. I think the best thing is to have a support system, even outside of football, because again, yeah, we are football players, we’re athletes, we give everything we can on the field, but we also have off field lives, too. And I’m gonna continue to do everything I can to try to be a great friend and supportive to Antonio and the things he’s going through.”

Brady repeatedly referred to issues that Brown is confronting away from football.

“I think about Ricky Williams and I think about Calvin Ridley this year, a young player for the Atlanta Falcons that stepped away from the game,” Brady said. “And, again, I don’t think anyone’s living in anyone else’s shoes. So you don’t necessarily know what other people are going through. All you do is, you know, you show up to work every day and you try to do your job. And you obviously recognize there’s a lot of teammates in a locker room and you build relationships with those teammates. And I’ve done it for a long period of time for a lot of years. And you get to know people, you really try to do everything you can to help them. You know, my dad said something the other day, he said, ‘Look, all we can do is the best we can do with the opportunities that are presented to us.’ And whatever that means for different people, whether that’s on the field, off the field, family life, professional life, I’m gonna try to do the best I can do with the circumstances that I’m presented before me as a person. And I try to live with integrity. I try to live with honesty and, you know, I care about people beyond the football field, as well. So, again, it’s a very difficult situation that everyone’s dealing with. And it’s shown itself, obviously in this example yesterday, but it showed itself in the Olympics with Simone Biles and she came out and she spoke quite a bit about it. So it’s definitely more prevalent than we used to think. You know, we used to think that we were just all, you know, robots out there and we’d go out there and play and it’s more than that now. And I think there’s a recognition of that and we’re all, there’s a humanity to everything that we’re doing out there. It’s very comforting to know that people are seeing athletes in deeper ways than just their potential on the field as well.”

Brady said he didn’t realize what had happened with Brown, who stripped down to his game pants and ran off the field, until after the game.

“I didn’t understand kind of what was happening until after the game,” Brady said. “I didn’t understand what transpired and I saw after the game Mike [Evans] was trying to talk to Antonio and so was O.J. [Howard]. And I know Bruce [Arians] was also. Again, it was just a very difficult situation for everybody involved.”

Gray described Brown as “Jerry Rice out there,” and Gray said that Brady will surely “miss that not only as a teammate on the field but just as a football player, to see such a thing of beauty not being able to perform anymore, at least seemingly not being able to.”

“Yeah, and I think it’s, again, I think for people on the outside looking in who aren’t familiar with all the, you know, normal aspects of what happens in a team, you know, it’s just, you wanna look at one situation and categorize something in a certain way,” Brady said. “And, you know, life isn’t like that. And for the guys on the team who are working hard every day to commit themselves to what our goals are, you know, we’ve gotta continue to focus on that. And Antonio is a great player and extremely talented player. And we all want the best for him. We really do. I think there’s a very supportive group of teammates and coaches, and it’s just a very difficult situation for everybody. I don’t think there’s a great way to sum anything up other than to say that he has a lot of supportive teammates. And I’m certainly one of them. I love him, and I’m always here for him.”

Here’s hoping that those aren’t just the words Brady felt compelled to utter, that he’ll provide the same support for Brown on the way out that he did on the way in, when he took Brown under his wing (and into his home) in order to ensure that Brady would speak to Brown’s better angels in order to help Brady get the seventh ring that he coveted. It would be easy for Brady to forget about Brown and focus on the task at hand. But if Brown needs help, and if Brady is one of the few people on the planet who can speak hard truths to Brown, hopefully Brady will do it.

14 responses to “Tom Brady on Antonio Brown: “It was just a very difficult situation for everyone involved”

  1. Brady doubletalk, makes it sound like Brown is a stellar human with oh such admirable qualities. Brady lobbied to have the train wreck on Tampa Bay and is now trying to limit his involvement in this story. Like the story Brown was living at his house and then it turns out Brown is living elsewhere, getting into trouble and trying to take down a guardshack. Brady is a hypocrite plain and simple.

  2. This virtue-humping by Brady speaks volumes, but not what he thinks. His blind spots are in full view this season, and they are huge and apparently bullet-proof, man-child that he is. All the difficulties around AB this last year and all the years prior were self-caused, and all the wounds suffered by him and those entangled with him were self-inflicted by “everyone involved,” all the way back to the enablers of college and the Steelers. There are no victims here, no one was taken by surprise — unless they just came out of a long coma. “Shocked, shocked, I tell you”, “such a tragedy”, and so on just ring hollow.

    The incident and its worse aftermath of righteous indignation by many pundits, riding the airwaves right alongside the careful sympathies by jocks who full-on understand and have even lived AB’s history and worse — all these voices speak to the quality of a culture where the ego-lust for victory at a sport has a near-daily head-on collision with integrity and the moral strength of character human life requires … and (of course) the empty calories of money, pride, and lifestyle perks.

    As Mike has pointed out a half-dozen times now — what will tell us the most about Brady is not this pretty speech, but whether he puts as much or greater energy and resources into AB’s health care as he put into keeping him on the team so he (Brady) could chase another sports trophy.

  3. Brown does need help, clearly.

    But we should not forget, he has a pattern of difficult and dangerous behavior. He has had to settle several lawsuits for nearly hitting a young child with stuff he was throwing out the window of his condo, much worse stuff with his college classmate and former personal trainer, assaulted the guy moving his stuff, and went mostly off the rails with the Raiders, including going after Mike Mayock.

    Brady might care to help Brown, but probably should understand protecting Brown from the consequences of his prior actions, and maybe even keeping him from getting cut over the fake vaccine fiasco, was also enabling him as well. Until finally even Brady could no longer protect Brown from himself.

    Brown has probably ruined his own career with his last outburst, but maybe at rock bottom, he can finally turn it around, without a football career or people willing to look the other way, if he gets some real consequences for his actions?

    IS Brady going to be his savior or was just his last enabler? I guess we’ll have to see.

  4. Brown’s overriding problem is that, for a long time now, no one has held him accountable for his actions. It has been easier to accomodate his worst impulses than attempt to hold him to acceptable standards as both a professional and a functional human being. Like a child who has been indulged rather than taught with respect and discipline, his responses are ego-driven, and his default is to throw a tantrum. He is unsuited to accomplish what his generation ironically calls “adulting,” a creature of desire and impulse alone.

  5. Complete lies. All he cared about was adding another ring. What about all the people who AB has hurt?

  6. You don’t love him, Tom. That is throwing the L word around a little too easily.

    You just really like what he can do for you in a football game.

  7. Like the story Brown was living at his house and then it turns out Brown is living elsewhere, getting into trouble and trying to take down a guardshack.

    —except it wasn’t just a “story” it was true.. as reported “Brown stayed in Brady’s house temporarily when he first signed in Tampa until he found a place

  8. Bucs knew this guy was a cancer to the team, but decided to try and see how long before the powder keg went off. Welp look what happened. This is what happens when you try to Lebron a championship

  9. Turns out Brown was furious over the ‘lack of support’ from the Bucs during his suspension. Furthermore, he started blowing up in the locker room during halftime over his lack of targets vs Mike Evans (who needed 101 yards to hit 1k for the 8th straight year) Coincidentally, Evans was the one trying to stop him from imploding on the sideline

  10. Brady is fiercely protecting Antonio Brown because Brown owes him rent money…..

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