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Tom Brady: “Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”

Tom Brady and Russell Wilson are getting in work with their teammates, but they're also undermining their union by posting videos and pictures on social media.

The man known for reciting “LFG” is now channeling FDR.

“Only thing we have to fear, is fear itself,” Brady posted on Instagram, with a photo of him drinking from a water bottle at Buccaneers workouts that he has organized.

It’s the latest act of open defiance from Brady, given that the NFL Players Association has recommended that no players work out together before training camp, explaining that the “goal is to have all players and your families as healthy as possible in the coming months.”

The NFLPA isn’t alone in that regard.

“The NFLPA and the NFL are in the same place,” NFL chief medical officer Allen Sills said on a Thursday conference call with reporters, specifically in response to a question from Ian Rapoport of the NFL regarding Brady’s workouts and his Great Depression-era message. Dr. Sills explained that the league hopes to have the “safest possible environment for all our constituents,” and he said that there is a shared risk but also a shared responsibility among players to keep themselves and household members as safe as possible.

This isn’t to pick on Brady. He’s hardly the only quarterback organizing workouts happening without the benefit of NFL/NFLPA protocols and oversight. But Brady is the best quarterback in league history, and he has been the most visible and discussed player in recent months. His words and actions have considerable influence, both on other players in the league and far beyond.

If Brady isn’t taking the threat of the coronavirus outbreak as seriously as he should, why should anyone else? That’s the heart of the problem, and either he doesn’t realize that or he just doesn’t care.

Moreover, it’s another example of the bizarre disconnect currently sweeping the nation regarding the appropriate response to a pandemic that has in recent weeks shown no signs of dying down or going away anytime soon. Brady obviously doesn’t care about any of that, and that’s his prerogative. He just needs to understand the impact that his message will have on others, whether it persuades people to become unconcerned about the situation or whether it gives those who are searching for evidence to support their own lack of concern a fairly strong plank on which to stand.