Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has said plenty of things about his overall circumstances in recent weeks, even if he ultimately hasn’t actually said very much at all. His wife, Gisele Bundchen, has added some thoughts on the current state of her husband’s career in a new interview with Elle.
She repeated past public comments regarding her obvious interest in Brady’s health and well being.
“Obviously, I have my concerns — this is a very violent sport, and I have my children and I would like him to be more present,” she said. “I have definitely had those conversations with him over and over again. But ultimately, I feel that everybody has to make a decision that works for [them]. He needs to follow his joy, too.”
The interview happened “weeks” before Brady’s mysterious 11-day hiatus from training camp. She declined to comment on reports of marital strife when Elle followed up with her this month.
Five years ago, she made waves with comments to Charlie Rose regarding Tom’s head trauma.
“I just have to say, as a wife, I’m a little bit — as you know, it’s not the most — let’s say [it’s] an aggressive sport,” she said in May 2017. “Football, like he had a concussion last year. I mean, he has concussions, pretty much, I mean, we don’t talk about [it] but he does have concussions. I don’t think it’s a healthy thing for your body to go through like — you know, to that kind of aggression all the time. That cannot be healthy for you, right? I mean I plan on having him be healthy and do a lot of fun things when we’re like 100, I hope.”
In the Elle interview, she agreed with the notion that her depiction as being “desperate” for Brady to retire is “sexist.” But there’s nothing “sexist” about acknowledging the apparent reality that she wants him to “be more present,” and to stop putting himself in harm’s way with guys who are literally half his age and younger. As she supposedly told him after Super Bowl LV, what more does he have to prove?
Brady has stretched the rubber band farther than any elite athlete ever has. He’s taken the needle on the gas tank well past E, and he has kept going. She has every right to want him to act his age and move on to business endeavors that won’t continue to accumulate wear and tear on his body and brain. Although it’s his life and his decision, it impacts her and the rest of the family. And it’s fair to ask him to strike a better balance between risk and reward — between selflessness and selfishness — when deciding to keep playing at a time when he doesn’t need the money, the trophies, or the accolades.
Everything about the current state of Brady’s career is unprecedented. There’s no manual to read, no one to seek out for advice. It’s unprecedented for everyone, on the inside and the outside.
The greatness that carried Brady this far is what pushes him to keep going. His biggest challenge could be finding a way to keep things going while honoring his bigger priorities and responsibilities.