Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ quarterback Tom Brady likened playing professional football to going on a military deployment, and veterans of the armed forces were “appalled” by his “ignorant” remarks.
The seven-time Super Bowl champ apologized for his commentary during a press conference on Thursday, prior to taking questions about the team’s 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on over the weekend.
“Before we start, can I say one thing?” he told reporters. “Earlier this week, I made a statement about playing football and the military, and it was a very poor choice of words.”
When asked to clarify what he meant by comparing the start of football season to going off to war, Brady said that he didn’t “really want to expand on it too much,” and shared his appreciation for the sacrifices soldiers make to protect our freedoms.
“I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for everyone who served,” he continued. “In the end, we play a game, and the military is defending our country. It’s two different things, and I shouldn’t have made the comparison.”
According to Fox News, Brady upset members of the military during a discussion with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant on the most recent episode of his “Let’s Go!” podcast.
“I almost look at like a football season like you’re going away on deployment in the military,” Brady told the NBA baller. “And it’s like, ‘Man, here I go again. And there’s only one way to do it.’”
Active service members and military veterans alike flamed the NFL GOAT on social media for the callous remarks.
“Tom Brady thinks playing football is like going on military deployment,” wrote one service member. “We both wear a uniform, and our marriages/relationships can be strained, but the similarities end there. He plays a game to entertain people. We risk our lives to defend this country.”
“He can just decide he doesn’t want to go to practice on certain days,” she continued. “Want to know what would’ve happened if I told my LPO or Chief I didn’t feel like working on Wednesdays?”
“I really was hoping that this was fake news the more I read it,” posted a Jets fan. “[Brady] congratulations, your arrogance has transcended what some would describe as blinding. You now have the most asinine take by an entertainer, ever. [NFL] get your boy.”
“Tom Brady is a mega d—hebag,” wrote one incensed tweeter. “If he misses his kids so much, he can really retire instead of fake retire… ‘It’s so hard to leave my kids and get paid $228,863/day to play football, it’s just just like going to war.'”
Brady addressed his retirement during the same presser by cracking a joke that NFL reporters had caused him to exit from the league. “Well that’s really why I’m here, I’m here to announce, finally, you guys have pushed me to the brink,” he cracked.
On a serious note, number 12 clarified that he had no intentions of hanging up his cleats. “I love the sport, I love the teammates, and I want to go do a good job for this team like I always have,” Brady remarked. “So, no retirement in my future.”
He recently made headlines for screaming at his offensive line when the Buccaneers were down 10-6 to the Steelers on Sunday.
“You’re so much better than the way you’re f**king playing,” he raged during the second quarter. “Get your f**king act together!”
Buccaneers center Robert Hainsey said that both he and his teammates “love” Brady for his aggressive tirades on the sidelines.
“Everyone can call it what they want, but I want nothing else from a quarterback than that — than the guy who’s wanting to tell us what we need to do and step up,” Hainsey stated on Wednesday. “If he was just sitting over there and not get us going and not try to help us — he wouldn’t be who he is today.”
“I love that from him. I know we all love that from him,” he concluded. “It might look weird on TV, but that’s football. That’s what you want from great teammates and great leaders, and he’s the best there is.”