Few athletes have led a more charmed life than Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr. (though, maybe not according to Tom Brady Sr.).
Going from an inconsequential 6th round draft pick to winning a Super Bowl at the expense of “The Greatest Show on Turf”? That’s ripped straight from the script of a sports movie. Winning another 5 Super Bowl rings with the New England Patriots when large swathes of the NFL haven’t even won one? That’s clearly from the sequel script. And then ditching the only team he’s ever known to win yet another ring for the historically moribund Tampa Bay Buccaneers? That’s a trilogy of sports movie scripts.
So there is no doubt that there is a certain level of schadenfreude coming from Tom Brady’s biggest critics over his ongoing malaise (both professionally, where his Tampa Bay Buccaneers are only 3-3 through 6 games, and personally, where Brady has allegedly hired a divorce lawyer.)
And while taking glee in Brady’s malaise is always a fun past time for many, in this instance, Brady actually earned the vitriol he got.
Brady caused waves when he casually compared what a pro football player goes through with what military servicemen go through during the Monday episode of the Sirius XM “Let’s Go!” podcast.
“I almost look at a football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military, and it’s like, man, here I go again,” Brady said.
Brady’s flippant remark quickly earned the scorn of actual servicemen, such as retired Army Ranger Brad Thomas (who survived the infamous Black Hawk Down incident in Somalia in 1993) and others across the internet.
Tom Brady apologizes for a poor choice of words in comparing his commitment to football to military deployment. pic.twitter.com/kRpSEzBFzg
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) October 20, 2022
Given that there have been few athletes who more meticulously groom their PR quite like Brady does, it comes as little surprise that Brady promptly responded to the criticism, per NFL reporter Rick Stroud who shared a clip of Brady at a media call.
“Before we start, could I say one thing?” Brady asked at the beginning of his scrum.
“Earlier this week I made a statement about playing football and the military, and it was a very poor choice of words,” Brady said in the clip. “I just want to express that to any sentiments out there that people may have taken it in a certain way. I apologize.”
Brady then appeared to roll right into his typical media scrum.
When pressed further about what point he was exactly trying to make when he first made those comments, Brady deflected and tried to squash the question.
“To be honest, I really don’t want to expand on it too much,” Brady said, according to The Associated Press. “I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for everyone who served.”
In fairness to Brady, he did ultimately come to the same exact conclusion that other military veterans have been harping on with him.
“In the end, we play a game, and the military is defending our country,” Brady said.
“It’s two very different things, and I shouldn’t have made the comparison.”
It may have taken him a dumb podcast comment, inextricable scorn and backlash and a few days, but Tom Brady does seem to have reached a conclusion that any normal, sane person should: Playing in the NFL in no way resembles, feels like or is anything remotely related to active military deployment.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.