Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady steals the show at the White House celebration of his team’s Super Bowl championship with a jab at Donald Trump and his false claims of a stolen election.
With US President Joe Biden at Brady’s side, and with dozens of teammates standing behind him, the winner of seven American football titles dishes up a series of clearly rehearsed but cutting remarks sure to infuriate the Republican former president, whom Brady has described as a friend.
“Not a lot of people think that we could have won,” Brady says of his team, which overcame setbacks early in their season to win Super Bowl LV in February following a year plagued by the coronavirus pandemic.
Tom Brady: “Not a lot of people think that we could have won and in fact, I think 40% of the people still don’t think we won."
— Bloomberg Quicktake (@Quicktake) July 20, 2021
“In fact I think about 40% of the people still don’t think we won,” Brady deadpans.
“I understand that,” Biden says, tossing up his hands.
“You understand that Mr. President?” Brady grins.
“I understand that,” Biden repeats, as several of the Buccaneers players and coaches break into laughter.
Brady is clearly referring to the large numbers of Republican voters who have embraced Trump’s baseless claims that he lost November’s presidential election to Biden because of voter fraud.
Judges and courts in multiple states have tossed out dozens of cases claiming there is evidence of a rigged election, but Trump continues to insist the vote was “stolen” from him.
Brady, who at 43 is the oldest quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, also makes light of the “Sleepy Joe” nickname that Trump derisively used for Biden on the campaign trail.
The iconic player recalls how after a game last year in which he famously forgot it was fourth down, “They started calling me ‘Sleepy Tom.’ Why would they do that to me!”
Tuesday’s Super Bowl White House ceremony, in which the team owner presented the 46th president with a Bucs jersey bearing the number 46, was the first since 2017.
White House visits became political minefields for high profile sports teams in the era of Trump, who has been friendly with Brady for years.