It began with a distracting, curiously placed “Make America Great Again” hat.
Why yes that is a Donald Trump hat, Tom Brady sheepishly affirmed to reporters last week. But Brady—a politico-in-training if ever there was one among today’s NFL superstars—initially mopped up any stains of partisan bad blood. Trump was just a friend. Sometimes, they played golf.
“It’s pretty amazing what he’s been able to accomplish as an entrepreneur and then really as a television star and now running for political office,” Brady said at the time. “People who can do those types of things and can transition into different arenas and still have that type of appeal and carryover, he’s obviously appealing to a lot of people and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to play golf with.”
But on Wednesday during a locker-side presser Brady’s tune changed. When asked if he thought Trump has what it takes to win the White House, he didn’t mince words:
“I hope so. That would be great. There would be a putting green on the White House lawn. I’m sure of that,” Brady said.
As for the infamous hat that prompted this high-profile endorsement? “[The hat] was a nice keepsake. It could be a … yeah, a nice piece of memorabilia he sent me.”
And with that Brady, however reluctantly, joins a long list of NFL legends with publicly conservative leanings. From John Elway to Brett Favre to Troy Aikman to Joe Montana to Dan Marino, the list of “greatest quarterbacks ever” enjoys significant crossover with a “famous conservatives” post.
Following more than 15 years of political ambiguity, the California-raised, University of Michigan-educated, and beloved-by-Boston football hero is officially a member of both lists.