Tom Brady is a world-famous athlete with a wife (supermodel Gisele Bundchen) who's more famous than he is.
But the New England Patriots quarterback still doesn't enjoy being in the headlines, especially if they distract him from his work.
Brady and Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Namath joined Westwood One's Jim Gray for a joint interview Monday night, and at one point, Gray asked Brady how about the challenges of keeping a "low profile" in today's NFL.
The Patriots QB responded with a rather sharp critique of sports media.
"The challenging part today is there's so many people that are seeking a headline," Brady told Gray. "If you say one thing that's taken out of context, it becomes blown up in a way that takes on a life of its own.
"When they take the context out of what you say, it becomes very distracting or distressing, especially in a team environment where you're trying not to cause distractions."
Brady then admitted he's become more reticent with the media over the course of his NFL career, citing skepticism over what reporters will do with his answers.
"Unfortunately, I think over the years I've gotten more protective of what I'm saying, because there is a lack of trust in speaking your mind," Brady said. "Because people aren't interested in context, and they're going to take what they want to make their story, and they're going to use you to make a story."
The 42-year-old has found a new outlet to get his message across, though: social media. Brady is very active on Instagram and Twitter, where he can control his own narrative.
"The one thing that's been really cool for me is, I get to have my own voice in my own words, and I think that's a very empowering thing for an athlete," Brady said. " ... It does take up some discretionary amount of time, but you don't feel like when you say something it's going to be taken out of context if you're doing it yourself."
Brady hasn't incited many major controversies with his interviews over the years, and that's in part due to a concerted effort to keep the media at arm's length. It sounds like plans to continue that strategy, favoring tweets and Instagram posts to on-the-record comments.
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