Yesterday, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called on the United States to ban all Muslims, including American citizens, from entering the country. Deadspin will pay $100 to the first reporter who asks Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who said three months ago that “it would be great” if Trump were elected president, if he still feels that way, and if not, why not.
This isn’t an accusation that Brady personally harbors racist values. But Brady has repeatedly and voluntarily hitched his celebrity wagon to Trump’s, to their mutual benefit, and if he was willing to rub brand auras when Trump was merely a bombastic curio, it’s worth knowing if he’s changed his mind now that Trump has fully emerged as a dangerous demagogue who is so close to real power he can taste it. We are willing to pay to find out because we don’t trust the NFL press to do it on their own.
The Brady-Trump friendship dates back 13 years, and Brady has expressed an admiration for Trump that goes beyond their frequent golfing outings. “He always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times,” Brady said when asked about the “Make America Great Again” hat that Trump had sent him and which he displayed in his locker. “He obviously appeals to a lot of people.”
He indeed does, though maybe not quite as many after announcing his intentions to stop all Muslims at our borders. (Of course, his final tip into overt fascism may only gain him more popularity among the Youtube commenters who make up the electorate.)
In the face of previous controversy, Brady walked back his endorsement of Trump, saying “I don’t even know what the issues are.” Well, here’s an issue that’s easy for even the apolitical to grasp, and it’s grotesque and unconstitutional.
The only reason Trump has been allowed to get this far is the fawning deference he’s cultivated among the famous and influential—folks like Tom Brady. In a just world, he’d be a shunned fringe candidate, treated less seriously than David Duke. In our world, the NFL’s biggest star cozies up to a man who advocates ethnic cleansing—who happens to be one of three or four people with a realistic chance at becoming the most powerful person on earth—and the NFL media giggles because it’s eager for any celebrity shine.
One hundred dollars goes to the first reporter who asks Tom Brady if he still supports his friend Donald Trump and his plan to ban Muslims from America, and if not, why he doesn’t. Payable by cash, check, or donation to your charity or PAC of choice.