Brady said the debate surrounding the national anthem gave way to “a lot of good, healthy conversations… in our locker room.”
“I respect why people are doing what they are doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons, and that’s okay. You know, you can do things for your reason. They can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But, I thought it was great,” Brady told Winfrey. The full special with Brady and Oprah is set to release this weekend.
In a clip, Brady talked about how the Patriots “chose to lock arms” when they entered the field as a team, after group discussions. “We had meetings after practice talking about how we wanted to deal with that particular situation,” he said. “We support what people are going through.”
He continued, “I’ve been playing sports long enough [to know] everyone comes from something different, and I think showing respect for everybody, in a locker room, with a team of guys trying to go in the same direction—you better have that empathy for everybody. That’s what sports are about," he said.
Brady has previously spoken on this subject. Back in September 2017, he disapproved of Donald Trump’s comments—a person Brady’s been friendly with before—for demanding that kneeling players be fired or suspended. Brady called Trump’s remarks “just divisive.”
“I think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do. If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about,” Brady said around that time, during a radio show interview.