Tom Brady declined to share specific personal feelings about the New England Patriots releasing wide receiver Antonio Brown, but hinted the team could have done more to support his teammate of a mere 11 days.
“Everyone needs something a little bit different. Everybody’s upbringing was a little bit different. Everybody’s emotional states are different,” Brady said Monday in a radio interview on WEEI in Boston. “How do you contribute — whether someone is hurting physically, mentally, emotionally — how do you provide to them what they may need in order to support them to help us all grow and evolve. Not only as individuals. Not only as members of the team. Not only as members of the family. Not only as members of a community.
“But everybody has different challenges. I think you recognize those challenges, try to provide them as best as possible, and go to bed at night trying to do the best you can do. If things don’t work as you hoped, then absolutely when you put your heart on the line, there’s emotions that come up. A lot of things are not always in our control. But you wake up the next day and try to find hope and optimism.”
Brown was released Friday, likely losing his $9 million signing bonus, and became a free agent for the second time in 13 days. Agent Drew Rosenhaus claimed Sunday morning that teams have reached out regarding Brown. But Brown said via social media he’s done with the NFL, criticizing Patriots owner Robert Kraft on his way out of Boston.
NFL teams are also going to be looking for clarity on Brown’s availability. The league investigation into sexual assault claims against Brown by his former trainer is active, and he could be a candidate for the Commissioner’s Exempt List if signed.
“I do have a lot of personal feelings — none of which I really care to share,” Brady said of the move.
“I’ve had a lot of teammates over the years, so you invest — not just your head, but your heart. You invest your soul. That’s what makes a great team. That’s what makes a great brotherhood. So I think in the end, the endearing trait about sports for me is the relationships I get to build, because they’re very meaningful. That’s at the heart, I think, philosophically, (of) my life. It’s really about great relationships and seeing guys from all different backgrounds. I think it brings all of us together in so many ways.”
Brady did offer insight into his thoughts on the matter and how the Brown situation is reflective of today’s culture.
“It’s so easy for us to blame and shame because everyone has a voice now,” he said. “A lot of them can just be nameless, faceless comments that are very difficult for people. You love too much, that’s a problem. You hate too much, that’s a problem. You win too much, that’s a problem. You lose too much, that’s a problem. Everything ends up being a problem. So you just have to focus on, look at yourself, and ‘What do I believe in? What are my beliefs?’ I’m responsible for my own beliefs. I’m responsible for my own actions. And I’m going to do the best I can do to contribute in the best way possible. I’m not going to add on. I’m not going to be a part of this culture that can become very negative, can become very blaming, very much point fingers.”
—Field Level Media