Tom Brady Defends Players Who Kneeled During National Anthem

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady opened up about the NFL’s glaring anthem protest that sparked so much controversy over the last couple of years.

During an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Brady explained that he understood why some players choose to kneel during the National Anthem:

“I think there were a lot of really good, healthy conversations coming out of it in our locker room,” Brady said. “The great part about sports are the relationships, and I’ve been in it for a long time. I’ve been with guys from all different parts of the country. Every color, race, belief. And you know what? You respect what other people — I do, I respect why people are doing what they’re doing. And they’re doing it for different reasons. And that’s OK. You can do things for your reasons, they can do things for their reason, and you have respect for that. But I thought it was great.”

The NFL ultimately decided to invoke a rule by approving an Anthem policy that subjects any team to a fine if players are doing anything that is deemed “disrespectful” to the flag and the Star-Spangled Banner. That policy also allows players to stay in the locker room during the song, something the league did on there regular prior to 2009.