ST. PAUL, Minn. — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady struck a compassionate tone in saying he hopes the sports radio host who said disparaging remarks about his 5-year-old daughter “is not fired.”
Asked on Super Bowl LII Opening Night why he feels that way, Brady said, “We all have careers and make mistakes. I’d hate for someone to have to change their life over something like that. That was certainly not what he intended.”
Brady paused when asked if the remark — in which Alex Reimer referred to his daughter, Vivian, as an “annoying little pissant” when discussing a Brady documentary called “Tom vs. Time” that is airing on Facebook — hurt him and then said, “I just thought it was not very appropriate. … Look, I think we all go through our life and sometimes we say things we shouldn’t say or make mistakes, and that happens. I can express it and you move on.”
Reimer, who is in his mid-20s and sometimes appears on the “Kirk & Callahan Show,” made the disparaging remark about Brady’s daughter on a different show last week.
Kirk Minihane, one of the hosts of the show, said on the air Monday that Reimer had been suspended for the entire Super Bowl week.
Asked about Reimer’s suspension, Brady said he hoped Reimer isn’t fired.
“I didn’t hear too much about it. I didn’t get into it much,” Brady said at the Xcel Center. “I certainly hope the guy is not fired.
“I just know everybody is real protective of their kids. I never stayed away from criticism. I understand that criticism is part of sports. But I certainly don’t think that my children or anybody else’s children deserve to be in that. And that’s what I said.”
The Patriots quarterback cut short his long-running weekly appearance with sports radio WEEI earlier Monday and said he’s reconsidering whether to continue his morning radio segment with the station.
Hours later at the Super Bowl media night, he said he hadn’t thought about whether he will conduct interviews with the station in the future, as his focus has been on Super Bowl LII.
Asked about relations with the media in general, Brady said, “I just think it obviously is very competitive for everybody, and to me, for my belief, a very healthy respect I have for what your job is. I know it’s not easy. I know you are just doing the best you can do. I try to approach it that way and help out the best I can. But, I think also in turn, that requires, in today’s instance, a similar degree of respect. I just think that’s how I approach it.
“Whatever people would say or do usually doesn’t affect me very much. I think I’m pretty thick-skinned. I’ve been through a lot in my life. Certainly I went to a big college and there was a lot of attention. Being in the NFL there was a lot of attention. Again, I just think I have a lot of respect for [the media] and I understand everyone has a job to do. I think there is a great responsibility from my side to be a certain kind of way, to be positive, and that’s how I try to approach it.”
Last week, WEEI’s parent company, Entercom, and the Patriots announced a multiyear partnership extension. In making the announcement, Entercom noted, “the agreement includes broadcasting rights of ‘Patriots Monday’ and ‘Patriots Friday,’ headlined by five-time Super Bowl champion and four-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady.”
WEEI and Entercom issued a statement on Monday that read, in part: “We are disappointed and embarrassed by Alex Reimer’s on-air comments made last Thursday evening. His remarks were utterly indefensible, and mean-spirited commentary directed in any way at children is wholly inappropriate. Mr. Reimer remains suspended indefinitely from all WEEI platforms.”
The statement went on to add that both Brady and the Patriots support WEEI and Entercom’s disciplinary measures against Reimer.
Despite Reimer’s comments, Brady expressed no regrets about doing the Facebook series.
“I thought it was fun. I thought it was a great opportunity,” he said. “The fans like it. And that’s really what we were looking for.”
He said his son will be in an upcoming episode that features their summer trip to China.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.