New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, Head Coach Bill Belichick, and principle owner Robert Kraft, according to SB Nation staff writer Charlotte Wilder, by supporting New York billionaire Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, somehow leave their fans struggling with “emotional implications” making it hard for them to watch the games and enjoy the team’s march to a potential fifth Super Bowl victory.
Without citing any hard evidence that the team won’t be supported—like organized protests or decline in ticket sales—Wilder instead provides some anecdotal stories about some liberal friends not being able to enjoy the games because they were upset with Trump’s message. She also says Brady’s facebook page was inundated by negative remarks from alleged fans.
But Wilder doesn’t really make a very good case that the fans will be bailing on Tommy and the boys. Significantly, she fails to point out that Boston Red Sox fans didn’t have any problems supporting conservative pitcher Curt Schilling when their team, which sits in the hub of New England’s liberal leaning swath of America, helped upend the 86-year curse of the Bambino by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.
Now Wilder contends that although Pats fans never lost faith and were able to endure spy-gate and deflate-gate, “recently, that blind faith has faced its greatest test in the form of the team’s connection to Republican President-elect Donald Trump.”
Wilder, who hails from Lincoln Mass where 77.7 % of the population voted for the failed Clinton-Kaine ticket, argues, “The trouble began when Patriots reporters spotted Brady with a Make America Great Again hat in his locker in Foxboro in the fall of 2015.” Wilder points out that the New England legend donned the hat “soon after Trump announced his candidacy and called Mexicans rapists in the same speech.” Wilder’s bias intentionally mischaracterizes Trump’s comment. As Breitbart News reported in June, Trump was not referring to all Mexicans as Wilder implies but “was referring to illegal aliens coming over the U.S.-Mexico border who commit additional crimes, such as rape.”
Wilder demonstrates that she’s the one with the Trump problem when she calls the president-elect “one of the most divisive and fear-inspiring figures in the history of American politics.’
When Brady said back in 2015 that it would be “great” if his “friend” Trump won the election, and Trump responded by saying “Tom Brady is a great friend of mine. He’s a winner and he likes winners,” Wilder claims that shock permeated the internet. Brady never went on record saying who he actually voted for.
The SB Nation writer goes on to characterize the man who will be President of the United States on January 20th as one who ran “with the most non-liberal (and racist, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, Islamaphobic, etc.) rhetoric.”
To support her case that the Patriots have a “Trump Problem,” the author cites a story that her mom told her about one of her friends, who once was a die-hard fan but can no longer watch Pats games. Wilder’s mom said, “She used to watch every Sunday with her family, and now she just can’t do it.”
Wilder called the friend soon after she was told the story and asked her if she can no longer support the team. “Yeah, I just will not watch,” Susan Pease said:
I really enjoy watching the game with my family. I like what it means for my family to sit down and talk and laugh and watch and snack and now … I just, it’s just ruined for me. It’s not the worst thing about this, of course — this whole thing stems from my tremendous disappointment over this election and country. But it will forever color my opinion of the team. I will not watch, I will not buy any more jerseys. I’m done.
But Pease is not alone, Wilders claims “at least 6” other people she knows can’t watch the games either. I’m sure that will make a big dent in the ratings for the playoff game at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, where the Patriots will host the Houston Texans in the NFL Divisional Round on Saturday.