BOSTON (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is at odds with President Donald Trump on the issue of player protests of the national anthem, calling Trump’s comments “just divisive.”
Brady tells Boston’s WEEI-FM that he “certainly” disagrees with Trump’s comment that NFL owners should fire any player who refuses to stand for the anthem.
Patriots locked arms with some teammates during the “Star Spangled Banner” on Sunday against the Texans while other players kneeled.
Brady has called Trump a “good friend” in the past and one of Trump’s “Make America Great Again” hats was spotted in Brady’s locker in 2015. Trump has often praised the quarterback on social media.
Brady skipped a White House visit with Trump in April when the team celebrated its fifth Super Bowl title.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also spoke out Monday with the following statement:
“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men. I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience. As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics. Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis. They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team. I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private. I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.”