Freedom isn’t free, but Tom Brady is

I don’t even care if it’s heresy; I’m sick and tired of seeing all the “FREE TOM BRADY” posts, t-shirts, and signs. Sure, I live deep in the heart of Patriots Nation, and he’s as beloved a football icon as they’ve had up here for years–but this is beyond ridiculous. Let’s set aside whether or not he tampered with footballs (it sounds like he did), and let’s also set aside whether or not NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was just grinding an ax by shelving the Pats’ star quarterback (it sounds like he was). I’m even willing to set aside the fact that Goodell seemed more determined to discipline Brady than the players who’ve been accused of domestic violence. Or murder. *cough*

Let’s talk instead about the notion of “FREE TOM BRADY” as a concept.

Point of fact: Tom Brady is already free.

He’s not subject to any jail time for his supposed tampering. He wasn’t even put on house arrest. In no way, shape, or form, was Brady restricted from going wherever he wants–except on the field of play for the first four games of the 2016-2017 regular season. Given that he doesn’t set the lineup, that could have happened regardless of the outcome of any decision by the NFL. It still doesn’t mean he isn’t free.

The only way in which one could reasonably argue that Tom Brady’s not “free” is in another context, entirely–in that Brady has several lucrative endorsement and modeling deals in addition to his income from the New England Patriots. So, if by “FREE TOM BRADY”, these folks feel he should offer his services gratis, I’m sure there are plenty of companies willing to step forward to get some pix pro bono. The laughable part of this CNBC article is that it whines about how he only makes $7 million per year in endorsements. This is not a man who’s suffering. Okay, maybe he’ll have to use something other than organic avocados in his ice cream, but somehow HE WILL SURVIVE. (Perhaps by selling his $200 cookbook.)

Move along, Brady acolytes. If you want to rally behind a cause, there are loads of them that actually involve saving people from real harm and injustice. In the grand scheme of all the inequalities people face in the world, decrying the loss of “freedom” by a multi-millionaire who’s not under lock and key–nor even a warrant that threatens his physical movement–is inane. How about buying his non-returnable $200 cookbook “nutrition manual”? Oh wait, it’s already sold out. There. Now you have a legitimate complaint.

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