By Kimberley A. Martin and Matt Bonesteel
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Tom Brady took the high road Monday, displaying compassion for a Boston radio disc jockey who was suspended after using a derogatory term on air last week to refer to the quarterback’s daughter.
“I certainly hope the guy isn’t fired. I would hate that,” the future Hall of Famer said on Super Bowl Opening Night at the Xcel Energy Center.
Earlier in the day, Brady cut short his weekly interview on WEEI’s Kirk & Callahan Show because their colleague Alex Reimer called Brady’s 5-year-old daughter an “annoying little pissant” last week.
Before ending the call with WEEI, Brady explained: “It was very disappointing to hear that; my daughter or any child certainly does not deserve that.”
Not surprisingly, attention on Monday night quickly turned to Reimer’s comments and Brady’s subsequent reaction.
“I just think any parent is really protective of their kids,” said Brady, 40, who is seeking his sixth Lombardi Trophy with the Patriots. “I’ve never stayed away from criticism. I understand criticism is a part of sports. But I certainly don’t think that my children or any other children really deserve to be in that. That’s how I felt.”
Brady has been doing a Monday morning radio interview on Boston sports-talk station WEEI for years, and last week the station’s parent company and the Patriots announced a multiyear contract extension centered around the quarterback’s weekly appearances.
“I’ve tried to come on this show for many years and showed you guys a lot of respect,” Brady during the WEEI interview Monday morning. “I’ve always tried to come on and do a good job for you guys, so it’s very disappointing when you hear that, certainly — with my daughter or any child, they certainly don’t deserve that.”
After co-host Kirk Minihane apologized to Brady, the quarterback ended the interview by saying he might be done with WEEI.
“I’ll obviously evaluate whether I want to come on this show again, so I really don’t have much to say this morning,” Brady said. “So maybe I’ll speak with you guys some other time.”
The offending audio apparently has been scrubbed from the WEEI website but the passage was captured and posted on YouTube. Reimer and his co-host were discussing “Tom vs. Time,” the documentary series about Brady that premiered on Facebook last week.
“It was fine. It was OK,” Reimer said. “All right, I thought the first scene was so staged, where Brady’s like in the kitchen, his kid’s being an annoying little pissant…”
Brady’s daughter, who’s off-camera the entire time, talks to dad about going to soccer and then asks if she can have a sleepover.
WEEI issued a statement Monday night, saying it is “disappointed and embarrassed by Alex Reimer’s on-air comments.”
“His remarks were utterly indefensible, and mean-spirited commentary directed in any way at children is wholly inappropriate. … We deeply regret what happened and offer apologies to Tom Brady, his daughter and his family, as well as the New England Patriots organization.”
The statement also confirmed that Reimer has been suspended indefinitely, which Minihane had said on-air Monday.