September 24, 2017 02:00 PM

Tom Brady was seen linking arms with his New England Patriots teammates during the national anthem at their Sunday afternoon game against the Houston Texans.

Patriots reporter for the Providence Journal Mark Daniels also noted that lots of defensive players chose to take a knee.

On Sunday morning, Brady subtly showed his support for the NFL players’ protest following Donald Trump’s recent comments about how professional athletes like Colin Kaepernick — who have chosen to protest the national anthem by taking a knee — should be fired.

Steven Senne/AP

Brady posted a picture of him and his teammate James White captioned, “Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work.”

Brady also commented on a photo posted by Aaron Rogers — which featured the Green Bay Packers quarterback kneeling with other players — with a flexing arm emoji.

Brady said last October that he considers Trump a friend.

The two met in 2002 — just as Brady claimed his first Super Bowl title, reports CBS Sports. He was hired by Trump’s organization as a judge on the Miss USA pageant, and the two have remained supportive of one another through the years.

“I met him probably 15, 16 years ago,” Brady said of Trump. “We’ve played golf together many, many times and I’ve always had a good time with him. He’s been a friend of mine.”

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During a rally speech in Alabama on Friday, Trump stated, “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, say, ‘Get that son of a b–ch off the field right now. Out, you’re fired.’”

He followed this up by pouring more gasoline on the fire with a series of tweets. “If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect…our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem,” he wrote. “If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!”

Numerous celebrities — including Stevie Wonder, Diddy and Uzo Aduba — have also joined in standing behind the players, using the #TakeAKnee hashtag on social media.

On Sunday, multiple players on both the Baltimore Ravens and Jacksonville Jaguars took a knee during the national anthem during a game in London. Others, including coaches, linked arms on the sideline in solidarity.

Matt Dunham/AP

New England Patriots owner Robert Craft, who is considered an ally of Trump and even gave him a Super Bowl LI ring, issued a statement on Sunday about how he was “disappointed” in the president.

“I am deeply disappointed by the tone of the comments made by the President on Friday,” Kraft said.  “I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities.”

“Their efforts, both on and off the field, help bring people together and make our community stronger. There is no greater unifier in this country than sports, and unfortunately, nothing more divisive than politics,” he continued. “I think our political leaders could learn a lot from the lessons of teamwork and the importance of working together toward a common goal. Our players are intelligent, thoughtful and care deeply about our community and I support their right to peacefully affect social change and raise awareness in a manner that they feel is most impactful.”

 

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