Tom Brady Defends Those Kneeling During National Anthem (VIDEO)
During the 2017 NFL season, then-Seattle Seahawks star Michael Bennett boldly stated that the NFL needs white players to step forward and speak out alongside their Black teammates to bring more attention to the issues that plague this country’s minorities.
Most people immediately thought about two of the top quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady. The Green Bay Packers superstar has spoken out since that time, however, nothing but silence has come from Tom Brady.
That was until he spoke with Oprah Winfrey in a recent interview and the New England Patriots legend said that while each player has his own motivations for demonstrating, it’s important that all viewpoints are both heard and respected.
Winfrey asked Brady about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem last season, an act she said “divided the country.”
“What was happening in your own locker room?” Winfrey asked.
“I think there were a lot of really good, healthy conversations coming out of it in our locker room,” Brady said. “The great part about sports are the relationships, and I’ve been in it for a long time. I’ve been with guys from all different parts of the country. Every color, race, belief. And you know what? You respect what other people — I do, I respect why people are doing what they’re doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons. And that’s OK. You can do things for your reasons, they can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But I thought it was great.”
Brady stated the team had ‘a lot’ of good conversations about the Anthem.
“We had meetings after practice, talking about how we wanted to deal with that particular situation in time, taking a knee,” he said. “We chose to lock arms and we put arms around each other. We support what people are going through. I’ve been playing sports long enough — everyone comes from something different. I think showing respect for everybody is — in a locker room with a team with guys trying to go in the same direction, you’d better have that empathy for everybody. That’s what sports are about.”
The NFL ultimately decided to draw their line in the sand by approving an Anthem policy that subjects any team to a fine if players are doing anything deemed ‘disrespectful’ during the Star-Spangled Banner. That policy also allows them to stay in the locker room during the song, something the entire league did prior to 2009.