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No, Tom Brady is Not the Greatest American Athlete; Have We Forgotten the MAGA Hat So Quickly?

By Roxana Hadadi | Politics | January 25, 2021 |

By Roxana Hadadi | Politics | January 25, 2021 |


Tom Brady is going to the Super Bowl again because apparently Joe Biden becoming president didn’t fix everything. Or because the universe was like, “Wait, Conor McGregor AND Tom Brady losing in one weekend? We can’t have that! What would the mediocre white men who are their fans do?” So fuck the universe too. But I just have one very important question as we stare down another exhausting “I think Tom Brady is the greatest, because I am an idiot” narrative …

And that question is: Where is our 30 for 30 about the MAGA hat in Tom Brady’s locker?









“But Roxana,” you might say. “30 for 30 airs on ESPN, which is affiliated with ABC and Disney, which are run by executive chairman Bob Iger; remember when he served on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum for six months? And then he switched his party affiliation from Democrat to independent? Maybe there’s a conspiracy afoot and he wouldn’t let such a documentary be made.” Maybe! That idea sort of falls apart when you realize Iger donated more than $250,000 to Biden this time around, but still, sports-related conspiracy theories are my favorite thing. Deflated balls and all that, amirite?

But seriously … yes. I could see there being a general “Just let it go” vibe to ESPN, the NFL, and the powers that be trying to convince us that we never saw the MAGA hat in Brady’s locker. Trump is gone now. Isn’t it nicer to talk about how amazing it is that Brady, in his first season in Tampa Bay, is now leading the Buccaneers to a Super Bowl played in that VERY SAME Tampa Bay?! Isn’t that wild! Just like how after Sept. 11, Brady led the ahem, Patriots, to a Super Bowl win in 2002 that brought some normalcy back to America. Oh, you think that wasn’t a setup either? Well, excuse me!


Look, I’m being about … 40% sarcastic, 60% serious here, so I’ll tip those scales more toward 10% sarcastic, 90% serious for the next part of this. I’ll say this with full sincerity: Tom Brady sucks, and it’s amazing to me how fully the media normalized that goddamn MAGA hat because of how many chances rich white people get, and how totally OK it was for his soft white-bread ass to share his political opinions while, you know, Colin Kaepernick was run out of the sport for sharing his. Crazy how differently they were treated! I wonder why that is! Whatever could the reason be! (Racism. The answer is racism.) Also crazy how Tom Brady has gotten away with a career of whining and pouting to get what he wants, and football is supposed to be this goddamn uber-sport, but the refs collapse and throw their flags whenever it’s most convenient for Brady. Oh, you didn’t call shit during that entire Buccaneers/Packers game, but a slightly pulled jersey on a third down with 2 minutes to go is what deserves a late-thrown penalty flag? OK. OK. Go fuck yourself.

A star of Brady’s magnitude doesn’t get critical questions asked of him very often, and that’s why the only real explanation you can find for the MAGA hat is Brady’s evasive answers about how Trump was his “friend” (read: fellow rich person) and he “always supports” his friends (reminder: the only warfare we need is class warfare). In September 2015, after the shot of the MAGA hat in his locker made national news, Brady explained on a Boston morning show that the hat “found its way to my locker” after being given to Patriots owner Robert Kraft by Trump. The hat is not sentient! As if that motherfucker hadn’t put it there! And he only had praise for Trump, of course:

“He always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times. … It’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to accomplish as an entrepreneur, as a television star and now run for political office. People who can do those types of things and transition into different arenas and still have that type of appeal and carry-over. … He’s obviously appealing to a lot of people. He’s a hell of a lot of fun to play golf with.”

LOL, LOL. So much to dissect here! First, what an absolute idiot do you have to be to consider one of Trump’s rambling, barely discernible, increasingly unhinged rants even remotely motivational to you? Second of all, how did all that golf end up going? You know, the golf he played during the entirety of his presidency? And sure, Trump obviously appealed to some people—who tried to overthrow the government! Maybe someone could ask Brady those questions!

After the MAGA hat incident of 2015, and after Trump did end up becoming president, Brady eased away from further politics talk, refusing to say whether he voted for Trump or whether he called Trump to offer his congratulations, which Trump had claimed. Why so quiet? Brady blamed wife Gisele Bundchen, because of course, ugh, women are such nags, aren’t they? So Brady kept doing that whole “I just want to focus on sports” thing that continued to make him a darling of the kind of people who say “Keep politics out of my sports!”, without realizing, for instance, that the NFL’s alliance with the U.S. military, how often they honor veterans during games, and their use of military flyovers as entertainment is inherently political. (AND THAT PUTTING A MAGA HAT IN YOUR LOCKER FOR ALL THE CAMERAS TO SEE IS POLITICAL, TOO.) A 2017 New York Times piece, “Inside Trump’s Hour-by-Hour Battle for Self-Preservation,” noted that Trump “expresses disappointment that Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, has distanced himself.” And mum was basically the word until April 2020, when Brady went on Howard Stern’s SiriusXM show to reveal that he turned down Trump’s invitation to speak at the 2016 Republican Convention, and also dribble some words out of his mouth that might have been an explanation, but are really just mealy-mouthed bullshit.

“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. The whole political realm right now is, I dunno, I’m a person, from my standpoint, is to embrace leadership. … 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. I think now there are just a lot of different agendas.”

… What is this even saying? Does this sound like “there are very good people on both sides” to you?

Be true to your heart. Reach deep inside, and acknowledge this fact. We all want the same question answered: Does Tom still have the MAGA hat? Does he wear it around the $17 million mansion that he and Gisele bought on Miami’s Billionaire Bunker—yes, the same private island where Jared and Ivanka not only have a $32 million property, but are also renting a luxury condo estimated to cost tens of thousands of dollars a month? Maybe! Maybe the island will sink into the sea with every single one of those people on it and the world will be better off. But not before someone makes a goddamn 30 for 30 about this because I am seriously lacking sports documentaries right now and I need a fix.

Anyway. Best of luck to Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes in the Super Bowl on February 7; I hope you kick Tom Brady’s lily-white ass.