The Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrated their Super Bowl win at the White House on Tuesday with President Joe Biden — and their star quarterback came out firing jokes about election denialists.
Tom Brady, who last appeared for a White House Super Bowl event during George W. Bush's presidency in 2005, noted to the crowd assembled on the White House lawn that, at one point, his team was 7-5 and "not a lot people, you know, think that we could have won. In fact, I think about 40 percent of the people still don't think we won."
"I understand that," Biden, who was standing off to the side, quipped.
Brady also joked that after he forgot how many downs there were earlier in the season, some people referred to him as "Sleepy Tom" — a reference to former President Donald Trump's nickname for Biden.
"Why would they do that to me?" Brady asked.
"I don't know," Biden said.
Brady's Trump digs — and appearance at the White House — were a bit of a surprise, given his longtime friendship with Trump. In 2015, Brady, then a New England Patriot, told Boston’s WEEI that Trump had sent him a "Make America Great Again" hat that had been spotted in Brady's locker.
“He always gives me a call and different types of motivational speeches at different times," Brady told the station. "So now that he’s running for president, he sent me a hat. He obviously appeals to a lot of people, and he’s a hell of a lot of fun to play golf with.”
But when the Patriots won the Super Bowl in 2017, Brady bowed out of going with the team to the Trump White House, citing "personal family matters." He'd done the same in 2015, when Barack Obama was president. The Patriots won the Super Bowl again in 2019, but the team did not go to the White House.
In an interview with Howard Stern earlier this year, Brady said he'd tried keeping politics away from his job.
“I didn’t want to get into all the political, because there’s zero win in regards to any of that. Because it’s politics,” he said.
During the ceremony Tuesday, Biden praised the Buccaneers for allowing their stadium to be used as a mass vaccination site, saying it “became a lifeline for families in Tampa Bay this spring, administering nearly 200,000 vaccine shots.”
Biden also urged unvaccinated players to get vaccinated. “And y'all who don't have a shot. Get one, OK,” he said.
"Amen," one of the players responded.