Tom Brady Apologizes After Controversial Comments Comparing Football To Military Deployment

Tom Brady in Man in the Arena.
(Image credit: ESPN)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady got real in his podcast this week over the struggle to create a healthy work/life balance, as divorce rumors continue to swirl around him and wife Gisele Bündchen. But his musings didn’t sit right with many listeners, when he compared the football season to “going away on deployment for the military." After being called out on social media for the comment, the seven-time Super Bowl champion issued an apology for his “poor choice of words.”

Tom Brady opened his October 20 press conference with a statement regarding what he said on the October 17 episode of his podcast Let’s Go!. He said (via ESPN (opens in new tab)):  

Earlier this week, I made a statement about playing football and the military and it was a very poor choice of words. I just want to express that to any sentiments out there that people may have taken it a certain way. So I apologize.

On the podcast episode, the quarterback expressed that despite his intentions of spending more time on family and other issues outside of football, his competitive edge takes over and “as much as you want to have this playful balance with the work balance, you're going to end up doing exactly what you've always done.” In regards to the time he’s required to be away from his family, particularly during the NFL season, Tom Brady said: 

I almost look at a football season like you're going away on deployment for the military. And it's like, 'Man, here I go again.'

It seems like the former New England Patriot was talking more about the amount of time spent away from his family — rather than risking his life in service of his country — but even that’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, and one can easily see how military families might take offense. A number of people took to Twitter to point out that Tom Brady can still talk to his wife every day and fly his kids out to see him play during football season, unlike a deployment. This user had some harsh words for the quarterback:  

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Another Twitter user noted that even during the time he is away from his family, he and his team still have top-notch hotel accommodations, food, etc. This tweet also pointed out that the football player has no military background to make such a comparison, saying: 

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This backlash comes amid speculation of a possible Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen split. The couple has been married since 2009, and while this isn’t the first time there’s been trouble in paradise, it seems like the quarterback’s decision to return to football after six weeks of retirement led to a rift between the two. The former Victoria’s Secret model has apparently hired a divorce lawyer and has not attended any of her husband’s games this season.

We’ll have to see if any of the podcast backlash or the drama surrounding his personal life affects his on-field performance, when the Tampa Bay Bucs take on the Carolina Panthers this Sunday. You can see what else is on cable or streaming with our 2022 TV schedule

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.