Tom Brady Explains How Patriots Handled Anthem Protests in Oprah Interview

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 15, 2018

New England Patriots players stand for the national anthem before an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Tom Brady has offered an inside perspective on what was going in the New England Patriots' locker room last season when discussion of protests during the national anthem were at their peak. 

In an interview with Oprah, the three-time NFL MVP said the Patriots had "good, healthy conversations" about the various reasons players had for protesting:

Cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and Malcolm Butler were among the Patriots players who took a knee prior to a Week 3 game against the Houston Texans last season. 

Their decision to kneel came two days after President Donald Trump said at a political rally in Alabama that NFL owners should "get that son of a b---h off the field right now" if a player protests during the national anthem. 

In an interview with the BBC's Patrick Jennings last October, Patriots owner Robert Kraft said he respects "the right of people in this country to make statements or protests, peacefully, in a way that's appropriate to them."

Following the protest by Gilmore, Butler and other players in Week 3, the Patriots formed a line with their hand over their heart and a hand on the shoulder of their teammates during the anthem for the remainder of the 2017 season. 

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