Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady evaded a question about whether he's gotten a pass from criticism for sporting a Donald Trump hat in his locker in 2015 because he is white.
In a Jan. 26 segment on Fox Sports, analyst Shannon Sharpe was critical of Brady's brief support of Trump. The six-time Super Bowl champion later backpedaled on his support of Trump, dismissing any political-oriented questions during the former president's campaign trail and presidency over the last four years. But Sharp said Brady was given a pass as a white athlete that a Black athlete like LeBron James wouldn't have gotten.
"Let’s just say for sake of argument, LeBron James says my friend is Minister (Louis) Farrakhan," Sharpe said, referring to the controversial Nation of Islam leader. "How would America react? Blacks have always had to be very, very quiet about who our friends are. … LeBron James can never say, a prominent black athlete can never say, Minister Farrakhan is just my friend. They’d try to cancel anybody with the just mere mention of Mister Farrakhan’s name. Because we like Tom Brady."
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady playing against the Kansas City Chiefs in November. (Photo: Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports)
Brady, in response to a question by USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on a Super Bowl news conference Monday, dodged a direct answer.
"I'm not sure how to respond to hypothetical questions like that," Brady said over Zoom during Super Bowl media availability. "I hope everyone can — we're in this position like I am to, again, try to be the best I can be every day as an athlete, as a player, as a person in my community, for my team and so forth, so yeah, I'm not sure what else."
In Sharpe's initial comments on Fox Sports, he said: "I understood what Tom was for a very, very long time. He put that hat in there for a reason. 'Letting you know that I support my friend, Donald Trump, and no matter what he says, I support him.' … If we like somebody, we’re more forgiving of their actions. We’re more forgiving of their words, their deeds. If we don’t like you, we will go to heaven and earth, we’ll go back 15 years."
Tom Brady attempts to answer a question from @nrarmour about whether or not he thinks he would have the same room to weigh in on political and/or borderline controversial topics if he were Black. #SuperBowlpic.twitter.com/m8fTxjlrq1
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