Tom Brady had his fair share of battles with the NFL, and he always has been a supporter of NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith.
New England Patriots remember the 18-month-long dispute of “Deflategate,” which ended in federal court, but the now-retired quarterback also was a huge help during the league lockout in 2011.
For those who might not remember, the NFL owners imposed a lockout that lasted from March 12 to July 25 due to a lack of agreement on a new collective-bargaining agreement with the players, who were represented by the NFLPA.
Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees were among multiple active players at the time to file an antitrust lawsuit against the league. A settlement eventually was agreed upon, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Smith signed a new 10-year CBA to officially end the lockout.
“Tom Brady was always a union guy, from the beginning,” Smith told reporters in his Wednesday news conference, per NFL Media’s Albert Breer. “… When we got locked out, Tom Brady was the first quarterback who signed up to sue the league.”
The CBA was renewed in 2020, which prevented another lockout, and Smith tweeted an open letter on the negotiations, and Brady tweeted, “Well done De” on March 15, 2020 to show his appreciation for the executive director.
Brady has received praise from players for his accomplishments on the field, but it’s clear the 45-year-old also did his part off the field for those players.