Tom Brady on Anthem Protests: ‘You Have to Have Respect for Everyone’s Opinions’

AP Pats
The Associated Press

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is pleading for “respect for everyone’s opinions,” after speaking out about the anti-American protests spreading across the National Football League.

The five-time Super Bowl winner addressed the protests during an interview with Jim Gray at the Milken Institute’s Global Conference in Los Angeles, Yahoo Sports reported.

“You have to have respect for everyone’s opinions,” Brady said about players taking a knee during the national anthem. “Sports for me has been the most unifying part of my life. Never forget that.”

This seems to be a bit of an evolution compared to his past statements on the matter when he brushed off questions about the protests.

Brady rejected the question when he was asked about the protests last September.

“I’m not getting into any of that,” he said during a post-game press conference.

The most winning quarterback in NFL history went on to insist that he does not like to speak for other people.

“Like I said, I speak for myself, I believe what I believe, and you guys know me, I’m a very positive person,” Brady added. “I try to just live by example and say positive things about people and I try to control my own emotions, and no matter what anyone said, I’m going to have a positive outlook, certainly with my teammates. We all go through ups and downs and there’s struggles and it’s life and we’re all trying to navigate it as best we can. I believe love is the greatest thing we have; it overcomes a lot of things.”

Brady concluded saying that he believes in America’s freedom to believe as one wishes to believe:

“I mean, everybody can do whatever they want to do. I don’t care what the owners do, I care about my teammates and the belief I have in them and the love that I have for them,” Brady concluded. “We get to play a great game. I love playing, I never take it for granted; to come out here and play in front of our fans and to play in my 18th year is a blessing.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.