Donald Trump: Tom Brady Would Endorse Me, But I Won’t Ask Him
Update: Monday, 12:56 p.m.
Well, this happened.
— Steve Koczela (@skoczela) February 8, 2016
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has drawn criticism both here and elsewhere for what appears to be his tacit endorsement of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump: a prominently displaced “Make America Great Again” hat here, a demure “I support all my friends” there. But never has No. 12 explicitly thrown his weight behind the man who a scant few months ago called for a “complete and total” shutdown of Muslims entering the country.
Why? If you’re inclined to believe Trump, which comes with its own set of perils, it’s because he asked Brady not to.
“He’s got sponsors, he’s got all of his different things that he has to do. And I told him not to,” Trump told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan. “He couldn’t be nicer. There was an article in GQ, he said, ‘Trump’s the biggest winner, you can’t beat Trump’ and all that stuff. And I said, ‘Don’t do that, because you may have a sponsor that doesn’t like me.’ They may be liberal, they may be something. And I don’t want him to get involved in that stuff. It’s hard for athletes.”
Trump seems to be referring to Chuck Klostermann’s awkward November interview with Brady, which went a little differently than he remembers:
Before I asked Brady about Deflategate, I asked him about playing golf with Donald Trump. He explained how this is an amazing experience, and how you never really know what the actual score is, and that there’s always some sort of side bet, and that Trump always goes home with the money. I ask him if this means Trump cheats, as it’s hard to imagine how someone could always win, particularly since Golf Digest estimates Brady’s handicap as an 8.
“Nah,” says Brady. “He just—he doesn’t lose. He just doesn’t lose.”
“Now, with that being said, I have had many athletes endorse me. Lots of different guys have endorsed me, which is great. But Tom’s in a very interesting position, and I said, ‘Tom, don’t do that.’ What he does is he says great stuff about me,” Trump continued. “I think he would do it if I asked him. I’ve never asked him to do it. But I think he’d do it if I asked him.”
Trump added that while he is friends with Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his son Jonathan, he has not and will not ask for an endorsement outright. He also called Deflategate a “disgrace,” and predicted that Brady will return to the Super Bowl next year, lest we sit through another snorefest.
“We needed our guy in there,” he said. “That was just a boring game. Am I the only one that thought that? … It was a terrible game, it was terribly played. The whole thing, it had a bad vibe. Well, we need Tom. We’re a little prejudiced, so anyways. Next year Tom will be in there.”
When pressed on D&C about his relationship with the real estate mogul in December, Brady asked, “Can I just stay out of this debate?”
“For the last 15 years, since I judged a beauty pageant for him, which was one of the very first things that I did that I thought was really cool that came along with winning the Super Bowl,” Brady said. “He’s always invited me to play golf and I’ve always enjoyed his company. I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life. You’re going from business, kind of an incredible businessman and then a TV star, and then getting into politics. It’s three different career paths. I think that is pretty remarkable.”
You can listen to D&C‘s full interview with Trump here.