Tom Brady apologises for NFL comparison to military made on Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB's podcast
Tom Brady has apologised for comparing playing an NFL season to being in the military, saying it "was a very poor choice of words."
Brady opened his weekly press conference on Thursday by apologising for the comment he made in his 'Let's Go!' podcast.
"Earlier this week, I made a statement about playing football and the military and it was a very poor choice of words," Brady said. "I just want to express that to any sentiments out there that people may have taken it a certain way. So I apologise."
He added: "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."
On the podcast, Brady had told his co-host Jim Gray and Brooklyn Nets basketball star Kevin Durant, "I almost look at a football season like you're going away on deployment in the military - it's like, 'Man, here I go again.'
"There's only one way to do it. And I think, Jim, we've talked from time to time just about how do you enjoy the certain moments of it? The reality is you can really only be authentic to yourself, right?
"Whenever you may say, '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."
Some members of the military community took to social media following Brady's comments to express their disappointment.
Brady has shown support for the military in the past, including a 2018 trip to visit U.S. Army and Air Force troops at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar.
Brady and the Buccaneers are currently 3-3 through the first six weeks of the 2022 NFL season. The 45-year-old, record seven-time Super Bowl winner had initially retired in the offseason before changing his mind and returning for another year.
Buccaneers head coach Todd Bowles has defended his management of Brady this week, saying the legendary quarterback does not receive special treatment.
Brady missed the team's walk-through practice on Saturday, prior to their 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday, as he was allowed to attend New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's wedding in New York on Friday.
Brady has also been granted Wednesdays off this season as a 'rest day' and he took an 11-day break during the team's preseason training camp for personal reasons.
"He works as hard as anybody," Bowles said. "Special treatment? There have been a few guys that have missed meetings and some practices for some special thing. It just doesn't get publicised because they're not him.
"It just kind of comes with the territory. You don't worry about it too much."
Then asked if Brady is as "locked in" as he has been in the past, Bowles answered, "yes."