BOSTON (AP) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady says his comments that he hopes Donald Trump will win the presidency were taken out of context and an example of why he tries to say as little as possible when speaking publicly.
Brady said during an interview with WEEI-FM radio in Boston that his vote is going to be his own personal choice based on how he feels.
‘‘I don’t even know what the issues are. I haven’t paid attention to politics in a long time,’’ Brady said. ‘‘It’s actually not something that I really even enjoy. It’s way off my radar.’’
The clarification comes after Brady displayed a red ‘‘Make America Great Again’’ hat from the Trump campaign in his locker while speaking with reporters on Sept. 16, the same day as a Republican presidential debate. When asked whether he thought Trump has what it takes to win the presidency, Brady said: ‘‘I hope so. It would be great. There would be a putting green on the White House lawn, I'm sure of that.’’
Brady called the remark an ‘‘offhanded comment’’ that reporters ran with to ‘‘get the clicks.’’
‘‘I try to have fun with certain things, you know, but some things a lot of times get taken out of context,’’ he said. ‘‘I think you are just more careful with what you say because you don’t want certainly a big headline with you as saying something that’s going to take the attention away from your teammates or what you’re trying to do.’’
Brady said he thinks athletes in team sports sometimes selfishly draw attention to their own opinions and comments.
‘‘When you’re speaking publicly and you've got a lot of people listening I think it’s probably in everyone’s best interest in today’s day and age to say as little as possible,’’ Brady said. ‘‘That’s just the way it is and I think the way our culture is right now. Everything is really out there.’’
Asked by the radio hosts whether his sentiments amounted to an endorsement, Brady said: ‘‘I've known him for a long time, he’s been a fun guy that I've had a lot of time around.’’ Trump’s candidacy sparked a lot of stories and ratings were big for the Republican debates, he said.