Tampa Bay Times
TAMPA, Fla. ― Tom Brady apologized Thursday for comparing the commitment he makes to playing an NFL season to a military deployment.
The 45-year-old Bucs quarterback opened his media session by saying he used “a very poor choice of words” while talking Monday on his “Let’s Go!” podcast about his lack of a work-life balance during the season.
“Earlier this week, I made a statement about playing football and the military, and it was a very poor choice of words,” Brady said Thursday. “I just want to express that to any sentiments out there that people may have taken it in a certain way, so I apologize.”
When asked what he meant by the comparison, Brady wouldn’t elaborate.
“To be honest, I don’t really want to expand on it too much,” Brady said. “I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to everyone who served. In the end, we play a game, and the military is defending our country. It’s two different things, and I shouldn’t have made the comparison.”
Brady was speaking with Brooklyn Nets star Kevin Durant on the podcast about having to eliminate other aspects of his life to focus on trying to win a Super Bowl.
“I almost look at a football season like you’re going away on deployment for the military,” Brady said Monday, “and it’s like, ‘Man, here I go again.’”
Tampa is home to MacDill Air Force Base, headquarters of the U.S. Central Command and the U.S. Special Operations Command.
During the podcast, Brady discussed the natural desire to spend more time away from work during the season but said his natural competitiveness prevents it.
“You can really only be authentic to yourself,” he said. “Whatever you may say, like, ‘Ah, man, I want to make sure I spend a little more time doing this,’ when it comes down to it, your competitiveness 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, which is why you are who you are. You’re going to go, ‘How … do I get it done?’”
The seven-time Super Bowl winner has come under some scrutiny this season for taking time off from football.
He missed 11 days of training camp and two preseason games in August for “personal reasons.” Last Friday, he attended the wedding of Patriots owner Robert Kraft in New York City, skipping the Bucs’ walk-through workout and meetings Saturday in Tampa before joining his teammates in Pittsburgh, where they lost 20-18 Sunday to the Steelers to fall to 3-3.