Tom Brady Gives Thoughts On NFL Anthem Protests In Oprah Interview

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

Photo via Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports Images

New England Patriots fans haven’t heard much this offseason from Tom Brady, who’s held just one brief news conference since returning home from Super Bowl LII in February.

This Sunday, however, a lengthy interview with the Patriots quarterback will air on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of Winfrey’s “SuperSoul Conversations” series.

In one of the preview clips posted on OWN’s website, Winfrey asked Brady about NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem last season, an act she said “divided the country.”

“What was happening in your own locker room?” Winfrey asked.

“I think there were a lot of really good, healthy conversations coming out of it in our locker room,” Brady said. “The great part about sports are the relationships, and I’ve been in it for a long time. I’ve been with guys from all different parts of the country. Every color, race, belief. And you know what? You respect what other people — I do, I respect why people are doing what they’re doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons. And that’s OK. You can do things for your reasons, they can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But I thought it was great.”

Brady said the Patriots had “a lot” of conversations about how to handle the anthem.

“We had meetings after practice, talking about how we wanted to deal with that particular situation in time, taking a knee,” he said. “We chose to lock arms and we put arms around each other. We support what people are going through. I’ve been playing sports long enough — everyone comes from something different. I think showing respect for everybody is — in a locker room with a team with guys trying to go in the same direction, you’d better have that empathy for everybody. That’s what sports are about.”

After President Donald Trump blasted NFL players last September, more than a dozen Patriots players knelt before a game against the Houston Texans. For the rest of the season, the team stood shoulder-to-shoulder during the anthem, with most players placing their left hand on a teammate’s shoulder.

Brady was not asked during the clip about the NFL’s new anthem policy, which has drawn widespread criticism.

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