New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is already the most decorated man in football with five Super Bowl wins. He’s also one of the most polarizing figures in sports. Every man or woman on the street seems to have an opinion on Brady. He’s either the greatest of all time, or a ball-deflating elitist who will do anything to win.
But on “Tom vs. Time,” airing on Facebook Watch, Brady has managed to stir up another cauldron of controversy, this time for his parenting. In Episode 3 of Brady’s Facebook show, Brady’s 11-year-old son Jack enters the room asking if he can check his fantasy football standings.
Brady responds, “What do I get?”
Jack sweetly leans over and gives his dad a quick kiss. But ever the competitor, Brady comments that Jack’s quick kiss barely made an impact. So, Jack leans over a second time and plants a full, long lip lock on his dad’s lips.
That’s when the internet went bananas.
My takeaway was that Brady’s unabashed adoration and affection for his son was an amazing display.
Tom and Jack’s kiss has been called disturbing and uncomfortably long. It’s even become the source of some seriously funny jokes with one person Tweeting, “If my dad looked like Tom Brady, I’d kiss him like that, too.” While there have been humorous comments, for the most part, some people were really quick to criticize Brady that his father-son moment was inappropriate.
In my opinion, the kiss heard around the world wasn't a big deal at all. When I watched that now infamous kiss, I noticed that it was long. I noticed that it was a full lip kiss between father and son. And my takeaway wasn’t that it was improper or weird. My takeaway was that Brady’s unabashed adoration and affection for his son was an amazing display.
In fact—and I hate to say it—Brady showed himself in that moment to be an amazing role model for dads.
Brady is the ultimate football player, the epitome of masculinity. But, by being so open with his physical affection and—dare I say—more feminine side with his son, Brady showed that masculinity and fatherhood doesn’t have to be all grit and bravado. Brady unapologetically showed that it’s not just a mother’s job or right to be tender. Dads can be tender, too.
Anyone who thinks he’s weird or wrong for being affectionate with his own child needs to settle down. End of story.