Story highlights

Brady locked arms with teammates during the national anthem on Sunday

His comments are notable as he is a friend of the 45th president

Washington CNN —  

New England Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady said he believes President Donald Trump’s comments about NFL players are “divisive” and on Monday said he supports those NFL players who are protesting during the national anthem.

“Yeah, I certainly disagree with what (Trump) said. I thought it was just divisive,” he told “Kirk and Callahan” on Boston’s WEEI Monday in his most extensive comments on the subject.

Brady customarily gives interviews to the station on Mondays following games. His comments are especially notable as he is a friend of the 45th President.

Brady – who locked arms with teammates during the national anthem on Sunday – continued, “Like I said, I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, ‘Oh, that is wrong. That is right.’ I do believe in what I believe in. I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me. That is how I try and live every day.”

Brady also told “Kirk and Callahan” that he thinks “everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do. If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about.”

Brady was responding to the controversy Trump sparked when he referred to NFL players who refused to stand during the national anthem as “sons of bitches” at a rally in Alabama Friday night, a reference to a protest begun by Colin Kaepernick against policy brutality and racial inequality. A series of high-profile athletes – including NBA stars Stephen Curry and LeBron James – condemned Trump’s remarks throughout the weekend, and the President responded in a series of critical tweets. By Sunday, dozens of NFL players were kneeling or locking arms during the national anthem prior to games.

Speaking Monday on “Kirk and Callahan,” the normally circumspect quarterback said that he has “a lot of respect for the players around the league and for obviously my teammates. I said after the game, I just love my teammates and it takes a lot to play in the NFL.”

Brady also discussed an Instagram post he shared before his game on Sunday, captioned: “Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work. #nflplayer.”

“The guys that have played in the past really paved the way for us and what I thought in that post is that is what makes this game great: players, coaches that come together for one goal, to try and go out there and do the best we can do every week,” Brady said.

He said of this Sunday that “hopefully, it brings everyone together. I think that is what unity and love — like I said after the game, those are the things that concern me.”

“These things aren’t easy. Everyone deals with different challenges in their life and you respect everyone’s opinions and views. You don’t have to agree with everything. It’s hard to agree with your own wife on everything from day-to-day. I have so much respect for my teammates and what we’re trying to accomplish” Brady said.