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Saturday, July 24, 2021

Brady, Biden play political football at White House Super Bowl ceremony

Tom Brady was out at the White House to score political points, dropping pass-like jokes.

Brady and the Super Bowl LIV champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers attended a Rose Garden ceremony hosted by President Biden on Tuesday, Brady’s first visit to Pennsylvania Avenue since 2005.

Brady took the opportunity to quip about his opening season’s mess against the Chicago Bears and compared his seventh Super Bowl win to Biden’s presidential victory.

“A lot of people don’t think we could have won, and in fact I think about 40% of people still don’t think we won,” Brady said, before he called on former President Trump. Referring to Biden’s infamous nickname. “We had a game in Chicago where I forgot what it was. I lost track of one game at 21, and they started calling me ‘Sleepy Tom.’ Why would they do that to me?”

Despite winning the Super Bowl during four different presidential administrations, Brady has not attended a champion ceremony at the White House since President George W. Bush was in office. The former Patriots quarterback skipped celebrations during the Obama and Trump administrations.

The Patriots as a team decided not to visit the White House after winning Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

Brady stood front and center with coach Bruce Arian, owner Brian Glazer and Biden. The president received the number 46 Tampa Bay Books jersey from the team, a traditional gift for the ceremony.

Hosting the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, the 78-year-old president took the opportunity to poke fun at his advanced age.

“As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with being the oldest person to reach the top of the mountain,” he said.

Biden turned around during his speaking part of the ceremony to encourage any Bux players who didn’t go to get their shots.

“All of you who don’t have a shot, man? Get one. Get one, get one. You’re saving lives, helping us get back our lives and those of our loved ones,” he said.

The NFL sets a limit of 85% of vaccinated players per roster, which is reached by only 10 teams. White House press secretary Jen Psaki did not directly respond to questions about which Bux players were thoroughly vacillated on Tuesday. It is unclear if Tampa Bay is one of the teams that reached 85%.

Two Bux players, Donovan Smith and Bradley Pinion, met with Vice President Kamala Harris Tuesday morning before the ceremony to discuss voting rights. The NFL renewed $2.5 million in grants for social justice issues in May.

During the 2015 season, a “Make America Great Again” hat endorsing then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was displayed in Brady’s Patriots locker.

When asked, at the time, whether the quarterback supported Trump’s 2016 election bid, Brady replied, “That would be great. Putt Green on the White House lawn.”

After Trump called on owners to fire players who kneel during the national anthem before games in 2017, Brady took to local sports radio station WEEI to distance himself from the comments.

“I definitely disagree with what he said and thought it was just divisive,” Brady said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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