During his time with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady tried his best to avoid any controversial topics. In the best-known example, when he was asked questions about whether he supported Donald Trump’s bid for president, he wouldn’t answer.
Not that Brady leaving the Patriots for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers led to his support of a Players Coalition letter to United States Attorney General William Barr calling for the Department of Justice to investigate the Ahmaud Arbery case. It’s just that we’re not used to seeing Brady say anything of note.
Anquan Boldin told ESPN’s “First Take” it was a significant step in the fight against racial injustice.
Anquan Boldin says Tom Brady’s involvement significant
Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was killed by two white men who chased him down in a pickup truck. The suspects were not arrested for two months. There was an outcry when a video emerged on social media last week.
The Players Coalition spoke out and got 60 signatures for its letter from big-name athletes, including Brady.
“I think it’s very significant. Especially having Tom be a guy who hasn’t been involved in politics at all,” Boldin, a longtime NFL receiver and co-founder of the Players Coalition, told ESPN. “He’s kind of stayed away from it. But it just goes to show that people are tired of [the injustice] happening. We’ve seen it over and over again, and far too long, we’ve allowed it to go on and not speak out about it. So to have someone like Tom Brady sign the letter, it was very significant.”
A handful of white athletes and coaches signed the letter, which was also significant to Boldin.
Tom Brady has more clout than most athletes
Boldin explained that white athletes have told him they want to say the right thing to help the cause, not hurt it.
“It’s not that they don’t care what’s happening to African-Americans in this country. A lot of them are afraid to say the wrong things,” Boldin said on “First Take.” “So that’s why a lot of guys stay away from being in front of the cameras and speaking out about certain subjects. And honestly, they don’t go through what we go through, but to say that they don't support us, that would be far from the truth.”
Brady has more clout than just about any other athlete. He is the rare player who is well-known to non-sports fans. He hadn’t often chosen to use his platform for political causes.
Maybe that’s changing.
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