Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has indicated his support for his teammates after recent comments by President Donald Trump.
Trump brought the NFL into the spotlight during a Sept. 22 speech, in which he commented on players kneeling during the national anthem at NFL games to protest against racism and police brutality, according to SBNation.
"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired!'" said the president.
"You know, some owner is going to do that," Trump added. "He’s gonna say, 'That guy disrespects our flag, he's fired.' And that owner, they don't know it. They don't know it. They're friends of mine, many of them. They don't know it. They'll be the most popular person, for a week. They'll be the most popular person in the country."
Players including Colin Kaepernick, Michael Bennett and Malcolm Jenkins have protested during the anthem by sitting, kneeling or raising their fist.
Trump later took to Twitter to reiterate his stance on the NFL protests.
"If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our great American flag (or country) and should stand for the national anthem," wrote Trump in a series of tweets. "If not, YOU'RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"
Brady, who is a longtime friend of Trump's, condemned the president's comments in a radio interview on Sept. 25, reports USA Today.
"Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said," explained Brady. "I thought it was just divisive. I just want to support my teammates. I am never one to say, 'Oh, that is wrong. That is right.'"
"I do believe in what I believe in," the quarterback said. "I believe in bringing people together and respect and love and trust. Those are the values that my parents instilled in me."
While Brady stood during the anthem on Sept. 24, he explained that he understood his fellow players' protests.
"Yeah, I did," said Brady. "No, I think everyone has the right to do whatever they want to do. If you don't agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great."
"It's part of our democracy," Brady added. "As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about."
Brady also posted to Instagram, in a photo with his teammate, running back James White, who knelt while Brady stood during the anthem.
"Strength. Passion. Love. Brotherhood. Team. Unity. Commitment. Dedication. Determination. Respect. Loyalty. Work," wrote Brady in the photo's caption, according to the Daily Mail.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft, also a friend of Trump's, said he was "deeply disappointed" by the president's comments, reports USA Today.
"I am proud to be associated with so many players who make such tremendous contributions in positively impacting our communities," said Kraft.