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Tom Brady spoke at length on Monday about Tampa Bay Buccaneers teammate Antonio Brown after his surprising outburst during Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, saying he will continue to support him in what he called a “difficult situation.”
On the “Let’s Go!” podcast with Jim Gray, Brady was asked about Brown’s second-half meltdown when the troubled wide receiver stormed off the field after undressing on the sideline with the Bucs trailing the Jets by 14.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown wipes his face as he leaves the field on Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J.
(Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)
“It was just a very difficult situation for everybody involved. I’ve known Antonio for a couple of years now, pretty closely. We’ve obviously been teammates and I would just say I love him, I care about him and I have a lot of compassion and I have a lot of empathy for the things that are happening in his life.”
Arians said immediately after the game that Brown was “no longer a Buc” but on Monday he was still listed as a member of the team. The coach seemed to pass the blame over to the Bucs front office saying: “That’s up to [general manager Jason Licht] and what he wants to do.”
Despite the coach’s stern take on the incident, Brady reaffirmed Monday that he’s going to be there for Brown.
“It’s a lot of challenges we all face from time to time in life. I think the best thing is to have a support system, even outside of football, because again, yea we are football players, we’re athletes, we everything we can on the field but we also have off-field lives too and I’m going to continue to do everything I can to try and be a great friend and supportive to Antonio in the things he’s going through.”
Antonio Brown and Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate their touchdown during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 9, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Brady was also asked about mental health as a potential reason for Brown’s outburst, and while not outright confirming it as a factor, the veteran quarterback said it’s certainly an issue that has been increasingly getting the attention it deserves.
“I don’t think anyone is living in anyone else’s shoes so we don’t necessarily know what other people are going through. All you do – you show up to work every day and you do your job,” he said.
“Again it’s a very difficult situation that everyone’s dealing with and it’s shown itself obviously in this example yesterday but it showed itself in the Olympics with Simone Biles when she came out and spoke quite a bit about it. It’s definitely more prevalent than we used to think.”
Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Tom Brady reacts with Antonio Brown during the second half of the game against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 26, 2021 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
(Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Brady said the Bucs will need to focus on the road ahead, even with missing Brown and other key players, but he will continue to be a support system for his teammate.
“Antonio is a great player and an extremely talented player and we all want the best for him, we really do. I think there’s a very supportive group of teammates and coaches – it’s just a very difficult situation for everybody. I don’t think there’s a great way to sum anything up other than to say that he has a lot of supportive teammates and I’m certainly one of them. I love him and I’m always here for him.”
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