A reporter asked Tom Brady about his friendship with Donald Trump at the New England Patriots quarterback's regularly scheduled Wednesday press conference at Gillette Stadium.
On Tuesday morning, during his weekly radio spot on WEEI's Dennis & Callahan show, Brady described golfing buddy Donald Trump as a long-time good friend (as he has done before on the Boston broadcast) adding that he supports all of his friends. Brady again also expressed admiration for the Trump's business acumen.
The NFL superstar has been vague about whether this support on a personal level actually will transform into a vote for the controversial New York real estate mogul and GOP presidential front-runner on Election Day, however.
The whole Brady-Trump thing got started several months ago when a "Make America Great Again" hat was observed in Brady's locker at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.
"Make America Great Again" is Trump's presidential campaign slogan, and The Donald himself has often worn the ball cap bearing the catchphrase at rallies and public appearances.
Tuesday's radio interview prompted the Trump-hating New York Daily News to run with a cover this morning on the tabloid proclaiming that "Brady has no balls."
Responding to Brady's explanation during the radio interview, the Daily News wrote that "Patriots quarterback Tom Brady went from deflated balls to no balls. The four-time Super Bowl champ turned big-time chump when he fumbled a perfect opportunity...to condemn his "good friend' Donald Trump's dangerous demagoguery and racist rhetoric — scrambling instead to try to find a way out of actually endorsing his billionaire buddy."
On their Deflategate revenge tour, the Pats have already locked up the AFC East and likely home field advantage for the entire playoffs, and even appeared like they might have gone undefeated for the entire season before losing two games in a row, and then defeating the Houston Texans last Sunday evening in Houston. The Patriots host the Tennessee Titans this Sunday afternoon.
At the podium today, a reporter asked Brady what he thought about the Daily News criticism of his relationship with the businessman and ex-Celebrity Apprentice star turned presidential hopeful.
"I don't think about it much. I've got a lot [to think about]. This is a tough week. I've got a lot of football stuff to think about. Hopefully, we can go out and beat the Titans. That'd be the most important thing for me."When the reporter followed up, Brady laughed and replied, "Like I said, I'm just here to play football. Thanks guys," as he left the meeting room.
To some degree, the deflection seemed as if it was a more friendly version of the "I'm just here so I won't get fined" refrain made famous by Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks when he would interact or not interact with the press.After last night's GOP debate on CNN from Las Vegas, most observers gave the win (as with the previous debate) to U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. While the political pundits chided Trump for another shallow performance in terms of substance in their opinion, an online poll on the Drudge Report gave the nod to Trump with about 43 percent of the vote over Cruz with 27 percent.
A poll commissioned by the One America News Network gave Trump the win over Cruz by 35 percent to 25 percent.
As far as actual voting preferences are concerned, Trump still leads nationally and in New Hampshire, and is in a tight contest with Cruz in Iowa, at least according to polling data. The Iowa Caucus is February 1, followed by the New Hampshire Primary on February 9.
At crunch time, do you think that Tom Brady will vote for Donald Trump for president -- assuming the first-time candidate secures the Republican nomination? Do you think that the media would continue to hound Tom Brady if, instead of Donald Trump, he had a personal friendship with Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders?
[Photo by Stephan Savoia/AP]