The NFL star opened up about how politics affected his "friendship" with Donald Trump

By Claudia Harmata
April 08, 2020 07:37 PM
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Credit: Shutterstock; Maddie Meyer/Getty

Tom Brady wants to avoid all things politics.

Sitting down with Howard Stern for his SiriusXM show on Wednesday, the NFL star got candid about his controversial relationship with President Donald Trump, revealing that the Republican leader had asked him to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

“Yeah, he wanted me to speak at the convention, too, and I wasn’t going to do anything political,” Brady told Howard after the host, who has a friendship with Trump, said he had also been asked to speak at the event.

Brady then recalled when he first met Trump in 2001, telling Howard that the businessman had a “way of connecting with people.”

“In 2002, after I won my first Super Bowl, he asked me to go judge a Miss USA competition, which I thought was the coolest thing in the world because I was 24 years old and had a chance to do something like that,” the former New England Patriots quarterback said.

After that, Trump would call him after games to let him know he had watched the star player and even invite him out to play golf together.

Tom Brady playing golf with Donald Trump in 2006
| Credit: Davidoff Studios/Getty

“That’s kind of the way it was. He became someone who would come up to our games and stand on the sideline and would cheer for the Patriots,” Brady said. “He always had a way of connecting with people and still does.”

However, as soon as politics got involved, Brady said he became very uncomfortable with the way their relationship was being scrutinized.

“Then the whole political aspect came, and I think I got brought into a lot of those things because it was so polarizing around the election time,” he added. “It was uncomfortable for me because you can’t undo things, not that I would undo a friendship, but political support is a lot different than the support of a friend.”

Tom Brady; Donald Trump
| Credit: Donna Connor/WireImage

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers player then elaborated on his standpoint surrounding politics, saying that he feels present-day politics are no longer about bringing people together for the common good, but rather a divisive aspect of our society.

I didn’t want to get into all the political, because there’s zero-win in regards to any of that. Because it’s politics,” he said. “The whole political realm right now is, I dunno, I’m a person, from my standpoint, is to embrace leadership.”

“I got brought together in a locker room where I was always trying to get along with everybody,” Brady continued. “I feel like in an outward sense when you start talking about politics it’s about how do you not bring people together, which is the opposite of what politics should have always been in our country. I can only relate to it as from my profession, leadership and responsibility is about embracing the whole and trying to bring people together to lead them to a common goal.”

He added, “I think now there are just a lot of different agendas.”

Tom Brady; Donald Trump
| Credit: Eric Workum/Starpix/Shutterstock

Howard also asked the star player how his teammates reacted when his friendship with Trump made headlines around the election. Back in 2015, when Trump was campaigning for the presidency, a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in Brady’s locker and he told reporters that he thought it would be “great” if then-candidate Trump became president, because then “there would be a putting green on the White House lawn.”

That same year, he also praised Trump’s “remarkable” path to the White House and later went on to call him a “friend” after a leaked Access Hollywood tape from 2005 revealed Trump bragging about sexually assaulting women.

Howard wondered if Brady’s teammates were ever upset with him over the comments.

“No never, because they know me, they know who I am,” Brady replied.

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Last year, a book by journalist Vicki Ward titled Kushner, Inc. claimed that while Trump was fond of son-in-law Jared Kushner, his daughter Ivanka Trump’s husband, he would sometimes bring up that Brady could have joined the family instead.

Howard also claimed that Trump once suggested to him that he wanted Ivanka and Brady to get married.

“That was a long time ago, That was a long time ago in my life,” Brady said while laughing. “There was never that where we ever dated or anything like that.”

He also added that while Trump may have suggested it to others, he had never brought it up to the NFL player. “He never suggested that to me,” Brady said.

The football legend did not comment on the current state of their friendship. However, in 2017, a New York Times article claimed Trump had expressed “disappointment” that Brady had “distanced himself” from the president.