Tom Brady and Donald Trump have not spoken in “a lot of years,” the NFL legend told Variety as part of his cover story. The two’s friendship became the subject of intense media scrutiny after a 2015 photograph went viral for showing a “Make America Great Again” hat in Brady’s football locker. Prior to the photo, Brady and Trump golfed together on several occasions.
“This was 17 or 18 years ago,” Brady told Variety about playing golf with Trump. “I was so young. I got to go to a private golf course. I thought it was the coolest thing in the world.”
When asked if the two are still in touch, Brady responded, “No. I haven’t talked to him in a lot of years.”
“I think [the press] just mischaracterized a lot,” the athlete added about the two appearing to be close friends. “And my personality isn’t ever one to insult anybody. I have plenty of my own flaws. I’m not here to point out anyone else’s flaws. There are things that I agree with. There are things that I don’t. There are things I agree with my wife about. There are things that I don’t. I love her to death, but we don’t always see eye to eye. I don’t see eye to eye with anyone. And I’m not responsible for what other people say. I’m really responsible for what I say. So if people want to say things that I said or that I’m about, that’s up to them, and I’m not going to respond to all those things all the time either.”
After the MAGA hat popped up in Brady’s locker in 2015, the quarterback explained to Boston’s WEEI radio station (via Time) that Trump had personally sent it to him and added about Trump, “He always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times. So now that he’s running for president, he sent me a hat, and he gave it to [Patriots owner Robert Kraft] a couple weeks ago. So it found its way to my locker.”
Brady added at the time that it’s “pretty amazing what [Trump has] been able to accomplish. He obviously appeals to a lot of people, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to play golf with.”
During a 2020 interview with Howard Stern, Brady said Trump often came to Patriots games and “would stand on the sideline and would cheer…He always had a way of connecting with people and still does.”
Despite these kind words for Trump in the past, Brady told Variety he is not still in touch with the controversial former president.