There really isn’t much controversy surrounding the New England Patriots’ NFL-record ninth Super Bowl appearance, but that doesn’t mean the talk leading up to Super Bowl LI will be centered squarely on football.

Given the political atmosphere in the country, paired with the Patriots’ unquestionable links to President Donald Trump, it’s safe to assume his name might come up a time or two in the two weeks leading up to the game in Houston.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has a longstanding friendship with the new president, dating far back before Trump even considered a political run. That friendship really came to the forefront when Brady placed a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker for the world to see, and it came up as recently as last week when Trump claimed Brady called him to congratulate him ahead of the Inauguration.

On his weekly interview with WEEI’s “Kirk and Callahan” show, Brady elaborated on the call and his relationship with Trump.

“I have called him, yes, in the past. Sometimes he calls me. Sometimes I call,” Brady said, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “But, again, that’s been someone I’ve known. I always try to keep it in context because for 16 years you know someone before maybe he was in the position that he was in.

“He’s been very supportive of me for a long time. It’s just a friendship. I have a lot of friends. I call a lot of people.”

Oddly enough, Brady seemingly added to the conversation on his own, perplexed by why so much attention is paid to his friendship with Trump.

“Why does everybody make such a big deal?” he added. “I don’t understand it.”

When pressed a little further about the matter, Brady started to deflect while also attempting to explain.

“I don’t want to get into it, but if you know someone, it doesn’t mean you agree with everything they say or they do,” Brady said. “You have a lot of friends in your life. I think there are things that are based in your own dealings with someone that is a personal dealing, not a public dealing. Because you have personal experiences.”

There still are two weeks left before kickoff, so this probably isn’t the last time Brady will face these types of questions. Whether he actually answers them, however, will be a much different story.

Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images