Tom Brady’s reaction to his daughter being called an ‘annoying little pissant’ is a lesson for all parents

Published 9:13 am Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Love him or hate him, Tom Brady’s life is utterly fascinating—at least to me, someone who’s long subscribed to the belief that a human being can either be the greatest quarterback of all time OR happily married to Gisele Bündchen OR better-looking than most guys who grace the cover of GQ.

That he manages to do all of the above defies the laws of what’s right and just in the world, but I digress.

As a Giants fan, I’m not a fan of Brady in the sports realm—I thoroughly, THOROUGHLY enjoyed watching Eli beat him in two Super Bowls—but he scored major points with me this week when he called out a radio show host in Boston for referring to his daughter as an “annoying little pissant” in reference to an episode of the new Facebook docu-series, “Tom vs. Time”.

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Brady cut his weekly interview short; the radio station suspended the host in question, and life goes on. But what impressed me most about the situation wasn’t that Brady called someone out about his child. After all, few parents would be able to put up with their kid being insulted or otherwise mistreated in any situation.

It was how he called them out, especially in the days leading up to the Super Bowl.

He didn’t scream or yell. He didn’t abruptly end the interview without explanation. He delivered a calm, level-headed, might-as-well-have-been-scripted reaction that left a more significant impression than a tantrum ever could.

“You know, I tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect,” Brady said. “I’ve always tried to come on and do a good job for you guys. It’s very disappointing when you hear [the comments about my daughter], certainly. My daughter, or any child, certainly does not deserve that.”

I would love to say I can keep a cool head in situations when it comes to my kid being mistreated, but I am a textbook-definition Mama Bear. And while it’s entirely ridiculous for mere mortals to begin a statement with “If I were Tom Brady…” I can assure you my response would not have been nearly as polite.

For the record, I don’t think the host should be professionally reprimanded for the comment (and neither does Brady, for that matter). He and Bündchen are public figures who have willingly put their family in the spotlight long before they decided to do a mini-reality show, and while the radio host’s opinion about a 5-year-old is harsh, it’s still his opinion.

I do think public figures should have a forum to debate media criticism and defend themselves and their loved ones against personal attacks. As Brady gracefully proved this week, they can do that effectively without unnecessary conflict or emotion getting in the way of a reasonable argument.

And with the disclaimer that what I’m about to say applies to nothing else about Tom Brady, I’ll say it anyway: If he can do that—maybe the rest of us can too.