The Patriots and Donald Trump appear to be tied at the hip, with the President mentioning them at almost every turn. The latest string of shoutouts came at a pre-inauguration dinner last night, when Trump pointed out owner Robert Kraft in attendance. He then proceeded to talk about a congratulatory phone call he received from Tom Brady, and referenced Bill Belichick as well.
“In the audience we have somebody that’s under no pressure whatsoever ’cause he’s got a great quarterback named Tom Brady, and a great coach named Belichick: Bob Kraft,” Trump said. “So good luck, Bob. Your friend Tom just called, he feels good. He called to congratulate us, he feels good. Good luck. You’re going to do great things.”
Later in the speech, Trump said he outworked everybody who’s ever ran for president. “I learned that from Belichick, right?” he said.
Communication between Trump and the Patriots has gone both ways. Brady talked about his friendship with the former real estate mogul on a variety of occasions and Belichick penned him an endorsement letter, which he read aloud in New Hampshire the night before the election. Kraft may be the closest to Trump of all: He called him a “very close friend” before the Massachusetts primary and has made the rounds in Washington D.C. this week.
In addition to Brady, Belichick and Kraft, several other Boston sports figures have commented on Trump as well. Some of the statements were made in passing, while others were thoughtful commentaries on his rhetoric and proposed policies. All of them garnered headlines:
Most regretful Trump statement:
Tom Brady (Sept. 16, 2015): “I hope [Trump can win]. That would be great. There’d be a putting green on the White House lawn, I’m sure of that.”
This is the comment that started it all. After a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in Brady’s locker, he was asked whether he wants Trump to become president. Once Brady said yes, the floodgates opened. For the last year-and-a-half, Brady has periodically been asked about Trump whenever the president makes an especially inflammatory statement. Each time, he’s sidestepped the question or reaffirmed their friendship. Most infamously, Brady walked off the podium when he was asked about the leaked Access Hollywood video in which Trump brags about sexually assaulting women. (On Friday, said he wanted to talk about football when Trump’s name was mentioned.)
Though Trump says Brady voted for him, that hasn’t been confirmed. Brady declined to tell Kirk & Callahan who he supported, and told the media that his wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, no longer wants him talking politics.
Unfortunately for Brady, that probably won’t be possible. He’s now tied to Trump, thanks to his explanation for that stupid red hat.
Stupidest Trump endorsement:
Clay Buchholz (Feb. 17, 2016): Said he’s supporting Trump, because Trump introduced him to his wife. From the Boston Globe:
“It was 2008 in Anaheim,” Buchholz recalled. “It was ‘Affliction: Banned’ fighting, and [Trump] owned the whole circuit. My wife knew him prior, from ‘Deal or No Deal’ when he came on the show as a celebrity banker.
“She was helping him host this event in Anaheim. So when we all walked in, he was there, and he saw us and he introduced Lindsey to me.”
Asked if he supported Trump for president, Buchholz gave an enthusiastic, “Absolutely!”
This quote from Buchholz exemplifies why some people are better off staying home on Election Day. Trump may be a great matchmaker, but it’s difficult to see how that correlates to getting the job done in the Oval Office.
Wisest Trump endorsement:
Robert Kraft (Jan. 19, 2017): “Loyalty is important to me, and [Trump] has been a wonderful friend. I think one of the great problems in the country today is the working poor, the middle class, that there hasn’t been growth in income on an equal basis, and I really think the policies he’s going to bring to bear are going to be great for the economic side of America.” –– New York Times
Kraft didn’t officially endorse Trump during the campaign, but it’s apparent he voted for his longtime friend. In November, he even paid Trump a visit at his Manhattan tower.
As a billionaire free market capitalist, it’s not surprising to see Kraft endorse Trump’s economic platform of gutting regulations and lowering the corporate tax rate. You may not agree with the trickle-down theory, but at least there’s a debate to be had. You can follow Kraft’s reasoning, which you can’t for, say, Buchholz.
Most succinct Trump comment:
Isaiah Thomas (Nov. 8, 2016):
It’s hard to be more clear than that. The brevity is admirable.
Most thoughtful Trump comment:
David Ortiz (Sept. 6, 2016): Ortiz opened up about Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric:
“When you speak like that about us, it’s a slap in the face,” Ortiz said. “I walk around sometimes, and I see Mexican people trying to earn a living in an honest way. And to hear somebody make those kinds of comments, it hits you. I think as Latin people we deserve better. Things have gotten much better in that regard. … As Latin people we deserve respect, no matter where you’re from. And especially our Mexican brothers, who come here willing to do all the dirty work.
“Latin people here in the United States are the spark plug of the country’s economy. Whoever opposes that is going to lose. And not just Latin people but immigrants. I’m talking about people who come from Africa, from Asia, other places. All those people come here with one goal, to realize the American dream, and you have to include them in our group.”
Oddly enough, Ortiz’s name was invoked in the confirmation hearing for Trump attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island, referenced Ortiz when he asked Sessions about a speech he made in 2006, in which he said “almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and that would indicate their likely success in our society.”