ST. PAUL — Amid the chaos and silliness of Opening Night at Super Bowl LII in Minnesota on Monday, Tom Brady got serious.
The Patriots quarterback, speaking to a hoard of reporters from a podium inside Xcel Energy Center, said he hopes WEEI’s Alex Reimer doesn’t lose his job over the disparaging comment he made last week about Brady’s 5-year-old daughter, Vivian. Brady said he doesn’t think his kids should be exposed to the same kind of criticism he is as a public figure.
“I just think any parent is really protective of their kids and I’ve never stayed away from criticism, I understand that you know, criticism is part of sports but I certainly don’t think that my children or any other children, really, deserve to be in that,” Brady said. “So, that’s how I felt.”
WEEI suspended Reimer on Monday night, saying the radio station was disappointed and embarrassed by the on-air remark last Thursday.
Brady cut short his regular radio interview Monday because of the comment.
On WEEI’s “Kirk & Callahan,” Brady called out the station for comments made by Reimer about Vivian and her appearance in the documentary “Tom vs. Time.” On air, Reimer referred to her as an “annoying little pissant.”
“It was very disappointing to hear that,” Brady said before ending the call. “My daughter or any child certainly does not deserve that.”
While Brady certainly agreed with the station that Reimer’s comment was out of line, he said he understands people make mistakes and that he wouldn’t wish for anyone to lose their job.
“I think, you know, we all have careers and we all make mistakes and I mean, I’d hate for someone to have to change their life over something like that,” Brady said. “It’s certainly not what he intended.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft supported his quarterback in saying kids are off limits as far as media criticism goes.
“You don’t talk about someone’s [5-year-old] child no matter who the adult is,” Kraft said. “I mean that. By the way, I happen to know the child, and she’s awesome. She’s vivacious, loving, terrific.”
While Brady told WEEI in his abridged call-in that he’d have to think about whether he’ll continue to be part of its programming, he said he’s tabling that consideration until after the Super Bowl.
“I haven’t thought about it,” Brady said. “I’ve been thinking about this game.”
Brady’s response was a more serious note in the middle of his hourlong podium session, where he was asked to name his man-crushes (Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, and Rob Gronkowski), deliver a message in Chinese, and chat with Guillermo from “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”
(Bill Belichick, for what it’s worth, was asked if he was ticklish.)
For the second year in a row, Brady’s family has been a Super Bowl storyline. Last year, the quarterback was visibly emotional several times during the week as he worried over his mother Galynn, who was fighting breast cancer. She is in remission and Brady said Monday that she’s doing quite well.
Brady said his favorite part of last year’s Super Bowl win was that he got to share it with his family, including all three of his kids, something he’d love to do again this year.
“I hope it’s a happy ending,” he said. “I think ultimately that’s what this game is about and everyone gets a chance to celebrate, if we can go out and play our best game of the year.”
Tom Brady’s interview on Opening Night at the Super Bowl