Will Tom Brady use his broadcast platform to promote player rights?

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In Playmakers, I try to get fans to better understand what it means to be a player in the NFL. That it’s much harder than it seems. That it’s not nearly as glamorous as it looks. That there aren’t nearly as many millionaires and most fans presume.

Fans routinely line up behind the billionaires whenever a struggle emerges between teams and players. While plenty of that is a natural consequence of rooting for a team, it’s still important to understand where players are coming from.

Players generally, and specifically, deserve more than they’re getting. If nothing else, they deserve greater understanding as they try to parlay limited opportunities to get paid into fair compensation for their services.

Enter Tom Brady. The mere fact that Fox can and will pay him $37.5 million per year to talk about football shows how much cash is in the sport’s broader ecosystem. There’s more than anyone realizes, but teams will hide behind the straw man of the salary cap in order to not give players what they deserve — even though the cap keeps going up and up and up.

How will Brady address issues involving player rights from the broadcast booth? Last year, he emerged as the leading voice in the push to get players to boycott voluntary offseason workouts. (His predecessor at Fox, Troy Aikman, believed that Brady was simply trying to get a strategic advantage, by getting other teams to be less prepared for the season.)

Remember what Brady said about a 17th game? “I think it’s pointless,” he declared in November. “I thought it was a terrible decision. . . . I’ve been pretty vocal about NFL issues over the last couple of years and some of the things that are done that I don’t necessarily think are in the best interests of the game.”

Will he still be vocal as a broadcast? If there’s a player who is caught in a disciplinary issue with the NFL, will Brady say something like, “Well, Kevin, I know how the league operates. They pick the conclusion and work backward to justify it. I expect them to do that here. Everyone watching at home should, too.”

If Brady does that, unpleasant phone calls will be made from 345 Park Avenue to Fox headquarters. Brady, unlike others who are from time to time the subject of such complaints (e.g., me), has the power to stand firm. To push back. To challenge the NFL from a bully pulpit for which he’ll be paid 37.5 percent of a billion dollars.

He can become the most powerful voice in football, if he chooses to use his platform not to kowtow to the NFL but to call the league out when it needs to be called out. Here’s hoping Brady takes full advantage of the voice he’ll have. He has the opportunity to become a force for the best interests of the game and everyone attached to it, specifically the players.

52 responses to “Will Tom Brady use his broadcast platform to promote player rights?

  1. Sorry Tom players don’t have the right to devise a cheating scheme to make them look better than they really are. Including you.

  2. Brady should use his platform to highlight the fact the he won a ring without BB, but BB has a losing record with Brady.

  3. Please no – they already have it cushy enough as is. We dont need to sit through more pity parties.

  4. He’s gonna promote TB12 products…and you are crazy if you think he wont !!

  5. IMO, Brady isn’t one to speak truth to power. He’s more of an apolitical ‘go with the flow’ kind of guy. I’d like to be proven wrong though.

  6. No he will not. I don’t expect much from Brady in the booth, and certainly nothing thats controversial.

  7. Every year a new class of millionaires is made. Thats just a fact.

    As for Tommy doing player advocacy on-air. Don’t be surprised if people just turn it off.

  8. Man, i just might have to stop watching when he’s on. We just cant get rid of the guy

  9. This will be fascinating. Nobody with the “juice” of a Tom Brady has ever been an announcer before – almost like if Michael Jordan was a NBA announcer. Could Fox tell Goodell, “Screw you, he’s Tom Brady”.

  10. There’s this thing called the CBA that the players agreed too. The don’t feel sorry for the owners. But asking us to feel “sorry” for players who make at least $700K a year is laughable to me.

  11. Brady will promote himself and TB12 brand. It’s going to be mind-numbing to listen to this guy drone on during a game.

  12. People are assuming he will be good at this. He hasn’t done a lot of TV work and isn’t very fluid in his commericals.

  13. THe league minimum is $480K/year. Most players don’t last more than a year or two.

    $480K is still a lot of money, but those players better have good jobs lined up for after the NFL

  14. What has Tom Brady ever done or said that would lead any reasonable observer to conclude that he cares about anything besides Tom Brady?

  15. This could make for a new evolution in football discussions, I’m looking forward to hear what he has to say.

  16. Do you really think that FOX, is going to hire Tom, or any other human being, to go on their airwaves and espouse workers rights?

  17. As long as Tom Brady doesn’t promote avocado ice cream….I won’t have any problems.

  18. Better not.
    If he does, theres even more reason not to listen to him broadcast.

  19. FOX is trying to recreate the Tony Romo experience. It might work with Brady being a lot more loose post-New England. I’ll be hopeful for now. I can’t imagine him being as bad as Phil Simms.

  20. If he eventually still wants to join the collective club known as Roger Gooddell’s bosses, he’ll walk the league line…

  21. Brady I think will be better or more tolerable than anyone thinks. This isn’t a commercial or an acting gig. Brady can speak publicly just fine and can be funny at times and he can definitely do both of those things while talking about something he knows all about. I “hate” Brady the way I did Michael Jordan. It’s easier to root for the underdog than the greatest of all time. The latter tends to be more revered as time goes on.

    It’s silly to think Brady gets an analyst job and somehow it’s even a question of him turning it into a platform to champion players rights. Zero fault to Brady there. That isn’t his job at Fox. Can you imagine working that into the flow of a game? Maybe if league discipline somehow gets discussed sure he would make a smarmy comment but as a color analyst you’re not going to see tons of chances to work that into the commentary. They probably covered what he was going to be doing prior to the almost half billion dollars they agreed to give him. The real help needs to come to the guys on the bottom third of the roster and the practice squad guys. Not even their own union can handle that.

  22. Player rights? They have the right to get paid very very well and not complain about everything and if playing in the NFL is so bad then go get another job somewhere, everybody is hiring. Most fans are sick of whiney players.

  23. I really hope he does i would love to hear people who are paid millions to play football complain about how hard they have it.

  24. Fans just want the game to be great. I hope he keeps it to the game on the field.

  25. If he eventually still wants to join the collective club known as Roger Gooddell’s bosses, he’ll walk the league line…
    _________________
    He already is.

  26. The day Brady starts calling games as a broadcaster is officially the last day I ever watch an NFL game in my life. The game I loved watching as a kid in the 80s and 90s is forever changed to suit the casual fan and millennial crowd. Sorry Raiders, sorry NFL. I’m done you can take everyone else’s money.

  27. When I saw the headline, I immediately thought back (rather fondly) to a long time ago when one of the networks aired a game on TV with no announcers. No announcers, just crowd noise for 3 hours. Remember that? When was that? Early 70s?

  28. greenbaydean says:
    May 11, 2022 at 3:26 pm
    There’s this thing called the CBA that the players agreed too.
    _____________

    This is one several comments incorrectly stating that the players are protected by the CBA. Apparently these commenters have not been paying attention over the past decades. It is well established that there is unequal bargaining power vis-a-vis the owners over the players.

  29. Tom G says:
    May 11, 2022 at 9:10 pm
    Player rights? They have the right to get paid very very well and not complain about everything and if playing in the NFL is so bad then go get another job somewhere, everybody is hiring. Most fans are sick of whiney players.
    _____________

    Most fans? Perhaps you should just advocate your own opinion and not presume to speak for everyone else. I can just as easily say that most fans are in favor of better conditions for the players.

  30. 1. The booth isn’t any person’s platform. It belongs to the fans and exists purely to cater to the fans.

    2. The contract offer will undoubtedly include parameters on what Brady can/can’t discuss. FOX is wanting Romo 2.0, a guy who brings enthusiasm and insight about what is happening on the field–not a person who grinds his personal axes.

  31. radar773 says:
    May 11, 2022 at 4:28 pm
    THe league minimum is $480K/year. Most players don’t last more than a year or two.

    $480K is still a lot of money, but those players better have good jobs lined up for after the NFL

    Many of them also get free college educations, so as long as they didn’t waste their time while they were in school, they will be in a much better position than most people once their short NFL career is over.

  32. If Brady plays another 3-5 years, his Fox salary won’t seem as lucrative by then. The market will have overtaken it

  33. I think he is a lot more likely to promote player pliability than their rights.

  34. ronfromnm says:
    May 12, 2022 at 10:19 am
    1. The booth isn’t any person’s platform. It belongs to the fans and exists purely to cater to the fans.
    _______________

    Huh? The actual booth belongs to whoever owns the stadium where the booth is located. It exists to house the broadcasters who exist to describe the game and other pertinent things related to football. If you want it to cater purely to fans perhaps you should put together a group to buy a stadium and a network.

  35. One benefit Brady has is a year’s notice that he will be doing the job. That is a year to watch other broadcasters and to think about what he would say in the same situation, and a year to practice not sounding like a robot.

  36. pioniere says:
    May 12, 2022 at 10:36 am
    radar773 says:
    May 11, 2022 at 4:28 pm
    THe league minimum is $480K/year. Most players don’t last more than a year or two.

    $480K is still a lot of money, but those players better have good jobs lined up for after the NFL

    Many of them also get free college educations, so as long as they didn’t waste their time while they were in school, they will be in a much better position than most people once their short NFL career is over.
    ______________

    My guess is that everyone who complains about players getting a free education never set foot on a college campus. By the way, their education is not “free”. The players work hard and generate millions of dollars for their coach and university overlords.

  37. If he wanted to be involved in players rights he could run the union. And how exactly would he advocate for players rights on air without it coming off as criticism of union leadership and all the players who voted for the last CBA?

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