Former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made a stop at the White House on Tuesday as President Biden hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to celebrate their Super Bowl championship — and he was in a jovial mood.
Speaking at the event on the South Lawn of the White House, Brady cracked a joke or two about the 2020 election and President Biden as he praised his coaches and teammates and recalled that his team was not a Super Bowl favorite at the start of the season.
“Not a lot of people think that we could have won and, in fact, I think 40 percent of the people still don’t think we won,” Brady said.
“I understand that,” Biden said to laughs.
“You understand that, Mr. President?” Brady said.
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."— CSPAN (@cspan) July 20, 2021
President Biden:" "I understand that."
Brady: "You understand that Mr. President?"
Full video of @Buccaneers at White House: https://t.co/yOACoMlL7C pic.twitter.com/CG7P8irTPA
Brady, who has long been acquainted with former president Donald Trump and got caught up in a political firestorm in 2015 when a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker, also made reference to the former president’s preferred nickname for Biden.
“I lost track of one down in 21 years of playing, and they started calling me, ‘Sleepy Tom,’” Brady quipped. “Why would they do that to me?”
Brady, who has won seven Super Bowls in his long NFL career, last visited the White House for a Super Bowl celebration in 2005, and did not attend ceremonies after Patriots wins in 2015 and 2017.
The White House has not hosted a Super Bowl champion team since the Patriots’ 2017 visit. Trump uninvited the 2018 champion Eagles after several players said they would not attend in response to Trump’s comments about players and protests during the national anthem. In 2019, after the Patriots’ most recent win, the team cited scheduling conflicts and said it could not go, and the coronavirus pandemic scrubbed the possibility of a visit by the 2020 champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Katie McInerney of the Globe staff contributed to this report.