Tom Brady has apologized for a “really poor choice of words” after he compared playing in the NFL to a military deployment.
“Earlier this week I made a statement about football and the military and it was a very poor choice of words,” Brady told reporters at a regular press conference on Thursday.
“And I just want to express that to all the feelings out there, that maybe people took it a certain way, so I apologize.
“I have enormous gratitude for everyone who served and, in the end, we’re playing a game and the military defending our country are two very different things and I shouldn’t have drawn the comparison.”
Brady made comments about the Army on Monday as he spoke with co-host Jim Gray and NBA superstar Kevin Durant about his “Let’s Go!” podcast on the state of mind necessary for top athletes.
Discussing balancing his work and life, the seven-time Super Bowl winner said, “I almost look at a season of football like I’m going on a deployment to the military. And it’s like, ‘Man, here we go again.'”
During the press conference, Brady also answered questions about his and his team’s form following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ rocky start to the season.
The Bucs’ 20-18 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday moved their record to 3-3 this season.
The rocky start, combined with Brady’s retirement in the offseason, reported marital issues and an 11-day leave during preseason training camp “to take care of personal things”, raised doubts about the quarterback’s long-term commitment to play.
Asked how this NFL season is ending, Brady joked, “That’s really why I’m here – I’m here to finally announce, you’ve pushed me over the edge.
“No, I think a lot of it for me is just us going there, you know…” he continued more seriously. “I love sports, I love teammates and I want to do a great job for this team like I always have, so no retirement in my future.”