Should Tom Brady’s private life be off limits?

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Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady accepts the reality that interest in his private life goes with the very public territory he occupies. But should it?

It’s a question with which many in the media have wrestled as Brady’s public and private existence collided in recent weeks, starting with an unprecedented 11-day hiatus from training camp and continuing with reports of marital discord. For his part, Brady has said only that he has “a lot of shit going on.” His wife, Gisele Bundchen said in a recent interview with Elle that she “would like him to be more present” and that she has “done my part” and that “now it’s going to be my turn.”

Most recently, CNN — a major national news outlet currently trying to stake out fresh territory in the wide swath of American purple — reported that Brady and Bundchen are “living separately.”

For football fans, it’s too easy and convenient to brush off interest in the subject as voyeurism. While a certain amount of rubbernecking plays into it, the possibility that personal turmoil may affect Brady’s professional performance looms over the entire season. He’s noticeably thinner. He’s 45. He talked earlier this week about being sore on Monday, even though he didn’t get hit very hard on Sunday — especially not in comparison to guys like Aaron Rodgers.

And the interest currently stretches beyond general fandom and/or fantasy football bragging rights. Significant and legal wagers are being made based on how his team fares and, directly or indirectly, on how Brady does. Whether his personal life has turned upside down becomes just as relevant as to whether he has a knee injury.

And, again, it’s a natural byproduct of living his life as an open book. No one has forced him to remain in the public eye for this long. To keep playing football well into middle age, to keep accepting endorsement deals and commercial appearances, to keep building social-media platforms on which he hawks crypto and jockey shorts. If he wants his privacy, he can pack it all up and disappear into one of the various homes he owns.

The fact that he’s playing pro football at a high level for longer than anyone has (and that he plans to become the top NFL analyst for Fox at an ungodly salary of $37.5 million per year) shows that he intend to continue to remain in the public eye. As we’ve said many times in the past, those who crave attention can’t dictate the terms of it. Hey everybody look at me! and What the hell are you looking at? simply don’t mesh.

To his credit, Brady gets it. He’s not complaining about it. But does it make it right for people to wonder what’s really going on? For those who follow football not just for entertainment but as a vehicle for gambling interests from which the NFL profits, it’s not only right but also necessary.

90 responses to “Should Tom Brady’s private life be off limits?

  1. Nope. You want the advantages of luxury at the expense of the public you also enter the microscope.

  2. His private life should be off limits unless he brings it up. Hes already gone through this before years ago. He talked openly about the toll his absence was taking on his marriage and how he had to redouble his efforts to save what he loved the most. But that was afterwards. Let him deal with it how he wishes in the moment.

  3. Should? Probably, I don’t want people up in my business and I keep private things private,for that reason,and I think we all understand the desire for privacy. Humans are also naturally curious creatures, Brady’s absence is a mystery and our monkey brains just can’t leave a mystery alone. This is one of those instances where giving more than normal information is better than shrugging it off. “I had a family obligation while my wife was out of town working” would go a long way to quieting down questions he doesn’t want to answer. Not as “manly” as “I got sh!t to do”, but more effective.

  4. He doesn’t have to stay in the public eye. Andrew Luck retired and hasn’t been on a camera since.

  5. Tom Brady is making hundreds of millions of dollars in the entertainment business, and he married the top super model in the world. It’s not for me to say, but everyone, including Tom, knows what comes with the territory. I don’t hear Tom complaining. He’s not a whiner. He understands the way the world works. You don’t marry the King of England and ask for privacy. The more you’re out there, the more you’re out there. It’s pretty simple. I’m the kind of person that respects someone’s privacy. I have my own life to live, but I realize I don’t speak for everyone. People are funny. Maybe it’s just human nature. We love to tear people down. Many of us enjoy watching people suffer. Look around. We share this planet with a lot of strange people. That’s part of the reason we tune in to football games.

  6. Absolutely…but that’s not gonna happen. It’s too late. The world has.. a good amount of people have too much information. And they feed off of it. I’m a bit guilty too. But I don’t really care about Tom’s personal stuff. I hope him and Gisele work it out…marriage is very important. Just retire brother!

  7. No, we need to know all happenings that affect the Brady household, after all he is the GOAT!

  8. It should be but Giselle keeps offering information and reporters aren’t going to say no to that.

  9. It absolutely should be off limits. The guy destroys his sim card in his cell phone regularly to minimize it.

  10. I think everyone’s life should be private if that’s how they want it to be. I like living a private life and would not want paparazzi following me everywhere. But when you are a highly paid entertainer you don’t always have that luxury

  11. I will never understand the fascination some people have with famous people’s lives. Enjoy their acting, singing, musicianship and athleticism. But they are complete strangers. Not friends. Do we care about the cashier’s life or the truck driver’s private life? Personally, I think it’s kinda pathetic.

  12. People who talk about or read about the private life material tell a lot more about themselves than they learn about others. I heard Colin Cowpie talking about what he thinks is going on in the Brady marriage. Like he has a clue. But… His talk about the on field stuff is equally clueless.

  13. Seems to me that it’s the little woman who’s putting their personal life into public domain. Probably her idea of going “scorched earth”. I always imagined that she would be a handful.
    Not hard to understand why he’s not in any hurry to be home every day.
    Tom has always kept things close to the vest.

  14. If Tom Brady isn’t good enough what chance do the rest of us have of keeping our better halves happy.

  15. If Brady isn’t complaining about the attention than no one else should. He should have just stayed retired because family is more important than a sport you have dominated with nothing else to prove.

  16. Considering he did “Tom Versus Time” publicly opening up his life to the cameras, I have no issue with his personal life being discussed. The difference is that this time he’s not controlling the narrative that’s being presented to us, the sports consumers.

  17. If its relevant to his performance on the field(and anyone who has experienced similar marital hardship knows it is) – then its unfortunately relevant. If someone is betting on Tom Brady winning the MVP – they will want this information.

    But there is were we start to run into the issue – “are sports reporters real reporters?”

  18. His income and fame are a direct result of having a public persona…he markets himself with his clothing lines and workout regiments.

    If you do that your personal life will also be under scrutiny, it comes with the territory.

    Not saying it’s right, but it is what it is

  19. Should it be? Probably yeah. But that’s just not reality. For ANY celebrity (and Brady is a big celebrity) their private life is very difficult to keep out of the spotlight. And if both parties are on social media then pretty much impossible. People are gonna talk and speculate about them. It’s just human nature.

  20. Once athletes takes the plunge and promote themselves through social media, commercials, and whatnot, they are fair game. They happily accept the money that come with their public personna, but it comes with a price. Personally, I liked it better when Brady was silent for 20 years, but since leaving Foxborough he feels the compulsion to make up for all the years he lost not promoting himself. I think everyone, and I mean everyone, is tired of him; it’s overkill, Get off Instagram Tom, and perhaps your private life will become more private.

  21. The $37.5 M per year is mind boggling. Two years ago, Romo got $17 M to BLOW AWAY the rest of the field in compensation. Sure Fox paid this so he would be would call games and serve as brand ambassador. I think there is a long play on their part to keep him in the public eye so that he can run for president. Fox just learned the power of a TV celebrity in politics and they think they can do it again with Brady

  22. There are probably millions of people who are tired of hearing about Tom Brady. He is as omnipresent as the Kardashian clan, although unlike them, he has actually done something to merit the attention.

    The household income generated by him and his wife is hard to fathom for wage earners, so perhaps that, in part, spurs the widespread curiosity.

    His off field life is not, nor should it necessarily be, an open book…but he has been taking the money so if his privacy gets trampled, that is part of the cost, whether he realized that going in or not.

  23. If it impacts his career, like leaving training camp for 11 days, then I think some explanation for that is reasonable. In this case it is because his wife is threatening to leave him (again, apparently) because he wants to play football, and maybe because he is still at the top of a game played by much younger people. Kind of like modeling in that regard. I don’t think all of the little details matter, but I think people who call him a selfish jerk for not walking away are way off base.

  24. Our only focus should be on what he does on the football field. Athletes and other celebrities should be free to live their lives in peace. Yes, these people live in the spotlight, but the spotlight has turned into a police interrogation light constantly shining in their faces. It is not right.

  25. Whether its off limits or not, people who are fascinated and talk about other peoples private lives are total weirdos. And yes, clearly there are too many weirdos.

  26. Yes and no. Brady and Gisele have never been shy about the fame, the photoshoots together, his brand, etc. So if you want to just play great, but want to keep the rest private, it’s out there (See Manning, Peyton.) Everyone wants the spotlight til they don’t. They’ve asked for it in a lot of ways.

  27. Very well written story. I’m torn. But SHE needs to realize her husband (she married a football player) is still performing at the highest of levels. Her looks are fading. If your name is Brady… you don’t have a normal life… look at Greg and Marsha and Jan and Cindy and ..

  28. all players private life should be off limits! The only way its ok if it break the law or if that player is asking for help.

  29. If you want to accept the money, fans, and fame…you also have to accept the criticism and having every aspect of your life put out there.

  30. There is no rule that dictates that he is off limits nor should there be. If people want the media to stop reporting on their personal lives then its on the people to be less interested or curious about their private lives. I do my own bit by not really worrying about it other than noting that it does get put in front of me a lot.

  31. His wife puts all of this out there in public in a national magazine available to anyone, and people are supposed to treat it as a private matter? Too late.

  32. I think it’s fair game but in the same breathe I don’t respect the way media (such as this website) manipulate and like the bear.

  33. Should it be? Yes. Will it? Never, unless he purchases a mountain and moves in after cordoning it off. That’s the reality of being a public figure anywhere in the world.

  34. If he did post game interviews only, maybe. Once he starts doing a zillion commercials, he falls into the actor, celebrity category. Not saying any of it is right, and Tommie can always smash his phone if things get too personal…

  35. Unless one of them has committed a crime or something similar, yes they should have their private lives.

  36. If he hangs it up now and returns to be with his family does that qualify him for comeback player of the year?

  37. Never ever understood the fascination with famous peoples personal lives. Who cares? The only way it would peak my interest is if there was a criminal element to it. In my opinion that is when someone famous is fair game because you have been accused of breaking the law. Other than that, their are hundreds of thousands of divorces every year, millions of squabbles between married couples, it’s none of our business. If Brady and Giselle prefer to keep that private we should respect their wishes but that just ain’t going to happen in the Kardashian world we live in now.

  38. Brady just got a little “work done” on his face as we now know from his last presser. Nothing to see here folks.

  39. Should be totally off-limits. Brady isn’t a politician. He’s a football player. He doesn’t owe anybody one word about his private life. It’s irrelevant how much money he makes. But, frankly, nobody should care about his private life in the first place. But I guess that’s what they created the word “loser” for.

  40. He likes the attention and his ego requires the stroking, so yes, his personal life is as exposed as he makes it. You can’t simply jaw your own take on everything as gospel and expect a one-way street in return. He has enough money, his wife is hot, and most importantly……..she actually wants him around! His ego is in the way. His luck is changing and it’s his own fault.

  41. It’s probably a waste of time to talk about “should,” since media outlets aren’t driven by morality or manners. But let’s just talk about coverage of football players. I don’t care about what People and Us and Page Six want to get into, but I am sick and tired of seeing sports media sites put out so much content about the personal lives of football players. Instead of writing about Brady’s personal life over and over, how about some more content on the Bucs offensive line? How about more analysis of what went wrong for the Rams in Week One?

  42. No player has induced more drama than Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers since Terrell Owens and Brady/Rodgers live in a time of heavy social media use, literally asking for the attention.

    It’s an embarassment.

  43. Isn’t it funny that all of these marital issues started as soon as Nassib joined the team? Very interesting. And why is that being ignored by the media?

  44. Obscene amounts of money; constant adulation as the GOAT; multiple appearances on magazine covers; celebrity golf tournaments; supermodel wife; or privacy. Even Brady can’t have it all.

  45. This is not an either/or situation. Some aspects should remain private, some should not. For example, any issues regarding children should be private. However, his relationship with Gisele should not because they have both discussed it in public. This is where the lost art of nuance should come into play.

  46. tiredofcowards says:
    September 17, 2022 at 3:01 am
    I will never understand the fascination some people have with famous people’s lives. Enjoy their acting, singing, musicianship and athleticism. But they are complete strangers. Not friends. Do we care about the cashier’s life or the truck driver’s private life? Personally, I think it’s kinda pathetic.


    Best post of the day. Why do people care what people they will never be friends with or meet at doing.

  47. remizak says:
    September 17, 2022 at 10:09 am
    Instead of writing about Brady’s personal life over and over, how about some more content on the Bucs offensive line? How about more analysis of what went wrong for the Rams in Week One?

    The Bucs OL and the Rams performance have both been analyzed to death.

  48. remizak says:
    September 17, 2022 at 10:09 am
    It’s probably a waste of time to talk about “should,” since media outlets aren’t driven by morality or manners.

    It is not the media’s job to determine what is moral, nor should reporting be influenced by some person’s or group’s definition of morality. Likewise, manners are at times incongruent with getting the necessary information.

    Each individual has their own definitions of morality and manners. The press cannot, and should not be, bound by those endlessly varying definitions.

  49. Brady is an entertainer. He plays football in front of millions of people. He goes on TV selling products. He does podcasts. He’s likely going to be in broadcasting next year. Of course his private life is public.

    Brady and his wife both understand that they are billionaires because of entertainment, and having their private life followed is part of the territory. Brady chose a career that would make his private life public.

  50. The problem is much more about the people that care about other peoples personal lives. If they would spend that time trying to better their own personal life instead of wasting time and energy on people they will never even meet let alone know in any way they would be a lot better off. Makes no sense. I don`t even click on those kind of headlines.

  51. So he is a good qb we are entitled to his private life? The fact some say yes shows the alount of beta males we have walking amongst us. Others couldnt care less because they live their own lives.

  52. I think adults should respect the privacy of other adults…but we all know that’s not gonna happen. Parasites

  53. Your gambling argument is very specious. There is no way every bit of information a gambler wants or needs will be disclosed by players or teams or, for example, you as a member of the media. If a player or coach or executive or league officer tells you something that is “off the record” will you break your promise to them and report it to us, your loyal readers who are betting our allowances on whether so-and-so catches a pass? I think not. Go to any racetrack and you will see how much information you don’t get.

  54. ” If he wants his privacy, he can pack it all up and disappear” Please remember this the next time you come to us with your righteousness discourse.

    Yeah, I know this is gonna make it to the posted comments, just want to point it.

  55. off limits … there’s no scandal, the problems he’s having with his marriage appears to be work related, family time, etc. If he was say cheating on his wife e.g., with a porn star and lied about it and paid to cover it up, that would be different.

  56. It’s the price of being a public face and also even if you take the public face out of it, I think most married couples would compromise and I don’t think he has. Finally, even if he wins a title again it doesn’t change his legacy there are only negatives that can come out of this season both personal and professionally.

    With that being said its none of our business he can live his life how he wants doesn’t mean people can’t comment.


  57. Why is this article about just Tom Brady? Why wouldn’t you extend that question to every NFL player then or any individual? And regardless of anyone’s thoughts on “should,” everyone’s private life is public if they allow the opportunity for it to be public.

  58. As a celebrity, no one’s private life is off limits per se. Yeah, stay away from kids, parents, etc. Tom Brady is no different. The key is to control damage caused by stupid actions/mistakes. Tom Brady has been very good at this for over 25 years. We have learned in the past couple of years, that indeed, try as he does (wish everyone tried like Tom), close as he comes, Tom Brady is not perfect. But his mistakes are also not egregious. So his private life is mostly something to admire, not ridicule anyway. But too often, the media really hates happy stories; they are always trying to find dirt but typcially come up empty on Tom.

  59. As long as it is equal, every reporter and pundit should also be under the microscope if they are going to ask the questions the the players should be asking them intruding questions every moment they possibly can then the players can post that all (to millions) real, made up (certain espn reporter fits this one) or fake news on twitter for the rest of the world to add their opinions.

  60. Matt Giaquinto says:
    September 17, 2022 at 1:11 am
    He doesn’t have to stay in the public eye. Andrew Luck retired and hasn’t been on a camera since.
    Andrew luck retured because his body couldn’t handle the game any longer. It wasn’t because he didn’t want the spotlight anymore. That’s just a weird analogy.

  61. I just can’t understand why anybody cares. It has zero effect on anyone’s lives outside of their own household. Does it effect his play? Sure. Personal lives inevitably bleed over into professional lives all the time. But that doesn’t mean your everyday Joe needs to have inside access or that any info the public gets should have any sort of impact on anyone whatsoever, outside of pure gossip.

  62. As long as people keep clicking on the articles, it’ll keep making the news. Ignore them and they will go away. It’s an easy call, for me…

  63. Mike Florio in his column above mentioned the gambling industry and those who put money into making money by who wins these football games and/or if the spread is covered. I should know, because I am part of a betting pool for the season and in this week’s game against the Saints, I have bet on the Buccaneers to either win or cover the spread which is the equivalent of a field goal. Now, I do not think Tampa Bay, and Tom Brady, will win tomorrow afternoon’s game when given the current circumstances. I thus expect to not get a share of the money this week. If Brady had wanted to not let his personal problems get in the way of his business, he would have not continued to be a football player. To be an athlete in a sport that is financially stable thanks to gambling is to be a commodity to be bought and sold and used for the whims and wishes of 32 owners, their bankers, and the bookies and gamblers who use players as toys. It stinks, yet the adage once stated by Curt Flood of an athlete is a well-paid slave rings rather true.

    The walls are metaphorically closing in on Tom Brady. The afterglow of the 2020 and early part of the 2021 season has faded. He looks tired and a bit sad. And while it is admirable that Brady is trying to convince himself that tomorrow he will win; the reality is that he and Bucs fans are fooling themselves. And as I said earlier, any game this season moving forward may be the last time Tom Brady is a player in the NFL. It could be the last game tomorrow, and he knows this. When all is said and done, the one relationship he cannot lose is his children. You lose them, you lose everything. And I am sad to say, he might be losing them. Personally, I do not want to see Tom Brady become the next Brett Favre in more ways than one.

    And for any person who decides to blame Gisele Bundchen for any of this relationship issues; it takes two to have a marriage turn rotten. Ms. Bundchen could have any man to be her mate in mere minutes. Matter of fact, they might be there in minutes. Tom Brady does not have that luxury. Unless he realizes the game, clock is ticking down to the last millisecond. A football addiction or being a father for once. It should not come to that binary choice, yet here we are.


  64. He and his wife are both public figures. It comes with the territory. His children, however, are 100% off limits.

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