Tom Brady thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves chance in NFL

  • Patriots quarterback: 'He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl'
  • Kaepernick has remained unsigned since opting out of his contract in March, leading to speculation that he has been blackballed over his political beliefs 
  • NFL Players Association named Kaepernick its 'Community MVP' for Week 1 after the 29-year-old made another six-figure donation to charity
  • In a wide-ranging interview Brady claimed he's not concerned with concussions despite the fears of wife Gisele Bundchen  

By Alex Raskin Sports News Editor For Dailymail.com

Published: 11:13 EDT, 18 September 2017 | Updated: 12:14 EDT, 18 September 2017

Tom Brady thinks free agent Colin Kaepernick deserves to be on an NFL roster.

In an interview that aired Sunday, Brady told CBS that he 'hope[s]' the controversial former San Francisco 49ers quarterback can return to the NFL - a league that continues to take criticism over national anthem protests that began with Kaepernick in the 2016 preseason.

'I've always watched him and admired him, the way that he's played,' Brady said of Kaepernick, who guided the 49ers to a road win over Brady's Patriots in 2012. 'He was a great young quarterback. He came to our stadium and beat us and took his team to the Super Bowl in 2012. He accomplished a lot in the pros as a player. And he's certainly qualified, and I hope he gets a shot.'

Colin Kaepernick (left) talks with Tom Brady (right) at midfield after the former's San Francisco 49ers beat the latter's New England Patriots in 2012
Colin Kaepernick (left) talks with Tom Brady (right) at midfield after the former's San Francisco 49ers beat the latter's New England Patriots in 2012

Colin Kaepernick (left) talks with Tom Brady (right) at midfield after the former's San Francisco 49ers beat the latter's New England Patriots in 2012

Brady avoided weighing into the politics of Kaepernick's situation too heavily.

Kaepernick has remained unsigned since drawing the ire of fans last season when he protested police violence against minorities by kneeling during 'The Star Spangled Banner.' A number of players throughout the league followed suit, which seemed to upset fans even further, making the issue a lightning rod for controversy around the league ever since.

'All my years being in the league,' Giants co-owner John Mara previously told MMQB, 'I never received more emotional mail from people than I did about that issue.'

Kaepernick was actually a popular player over his first three seasons, helping the San Francisco 49ers reach three NFC championship games and a Super Bowl. However, the former University of Nevada star posted an 11-24 record as starter over the last three seasons and has remained unemployed since opting out of his contract back in March.

Brady told CBS that he thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves a chance to sign with an NFL team, pointing to Kaepernick's track record with the 49ers
Brady told CBS that he thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves a chance to sign with an NFL team, pointing to Kaepernick's track record with the 49ers

Brady told CBS that he thinks Colin Kaepernick deserves a chance to sign with an NFL team, pointing to Kaepernick's track record with the 49ers

Several anonymous NFL executives recently told MMQB that they do not believe that Kaepernick has been blackballed by the NFL.

'To me, the protests, all that, it wasn't even a factor for us,' said one executive. 'It was the ability to fit within our offense.'

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told ESPN that he believes Kaepernick is being blackballed.

'I think he should be on a roster right now,' Rodgers said. 'I think because of his protests, he's not.'

Former Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke accused Kaepernick of being an 'opportunist' but failed to recognize the former 49ers star's numerous charitable efforts
Former Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke accused Kaepernick of being an 'opportunist' but failed to recognize the former 49ers star's numerous charitable efforts

Former Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke accused Kaepernick of being an 'opportunist' but failed to recognize the former 49ers star's numerous charitable efforts

Kaepernick has been a target for many in the media. Most recently cable news pundit and former Milwaukee Sheriff David A. Clarke called Kaepernick an '[O]pportunist' on twitter.

'When I see Kaepernick in the hood mentoring young black males on making better lifestyle choices then I will know his sincerity,' Clarke wrote.

However, Kaepernick is actually renowned for his charitable side and his willingness to mentor children. In fact, the NFL Players Association named him its Week 1 'Community MVP' for his efforts raising money for a variety of charities.

To date, Kaepernick has donated $900,000 of a $1 million pledge, benefiting charities such as Meals on Wheels, 100 Suits for 100 Men, and Coalition for the Homeless.

And he’s not just signing checks. Kaepernick hosted a ‘Know Your Rights Camp’ in several major cities around the country to team youth and safe interactions with law enforcement. 

Brady has been sacked 422 times during the regular season, but still insists he's not worried about concussions 
Brady has been sacked 422 times during the regular season, but still insists he's not worried about concussions 

Brady has been sacked 422 times during the regular season, but still insists he's not worried about concussions 

Brady addressed the lingering issue of concussions during the interview, although he sounded decidedly less concerned than his wife Gisele Bundchen did back in May when she said he had played concussed in 2016.

'I don't worry about them, no,' Brady told CBS Sunday Morning. 'I mean, I'm not oblivious to them. I understand the risks that come with the physical nature of our game.'

Bundchen claimed that Brady had unreported concussions and she worried about his long-term health. More recently, a joint NFL and players' union investigation found there was no evidence that Brady or the team failed to follow the league's policies or procedures on concussions.

Whereas Brady says he's not worried about concussions, wife Gisele Bundchen definitely has concerns over her husband's safety 
Whereas Brady says he's not worried about concussions, wife Gisele Bundchen definitely has concerns over her husband's safety 

Whereas Brady says he's not worried about concussions, wife Gisele Bundchen definitely has concerns over her husband's safety 

'This review identified no evidence of any deviation from the Protocol by the Patriots' medical staff or the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultants assigned to Patriots' games or any indication that Mr. Brady sustained a concussion or reported signs or symptoms consistent with having sustained a concussion,' the NFL's statement read. 

In light of a recent study that found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the brains of 110 of the 111 deceased NFL players examined, Brady was asked what he thought the effect would be on the league.

'I don't know what the future is going to look like, you know, and I'm not going to pretend to predict it,' Brady says. 'And I'm going to do everything I can to take care of my body in advance of the, you know, of the hits that I'm going to take on Sunday.'

Now in his 18th year as a pro, Brady has been sacked 422 times in regular season games. But aside from 2008, when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Patriots' opener, he's avoided serious injury.

Brady also discussed his notoriously specific diet with CBS.

When asked about coffee, Brady said he has '[n]ever tried it.'

He's tried a 'little bit' of salt and 'on occasion' has some sugar. As for dairy, Brady 'almost never' tries it, aside from some intermittent encounters with ice cream.   

Allen Campbell, Brady's personal chef, told Boston.com about a few other dietary quarks. 

'[Tom] doesn’t eat nightshades, because they’re not anti-inflammatory,' Campbell said. 'So no tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. Tomatoes trickle in every now and then, but just maybe once a month. I’m very cautious about tomatoes. They cause inflammation.'

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