Tom Brady reportedly preached to Bucs players to get COVID vaccines and said it would help their employment

Tom Brady.Mark LoMoglio / AP images

  • Tom Brady reportedly advocated for Buccaneers players to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Brady reportedly told the players it would help their health and employment opportunities.

  • The Bucs had said they were 100% vaccinated, but Antonio Brown was recently suspended for misrepresenting his vaccination status.

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers pressed for players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the run-up to the season, Tom Brady was reportedly one of the biggest proponents.

According to Defector’s Kalyn Kahler, a Buccaneers player said Brady “often talked to teammates during training camp and OTAs about the importance of getting vaccinated.”

The player said Brady would refer to how the vaccine could help players’ health and employment “travel.”

Brady revealed in September that he had received COVID-19 shortly after the Bucs’ Super Bowl celebration. He told The Tampa Bay Times that he thought COVID-19 would be as much of a factor in the 2021 season as it was in 2020.

ESPN’s Jenna Laine reported in September that Brady’s sisters both work in health care.

According to Kahler, Buc’s head coach Bruce Arians was also a big proponent of players being vaccinated. A Bucs player told Kahler that the Arians told the players that getting vaccinated could make a big difference in landing on the final list. Another Bucs player actually said that a special teams player who had performed well in training camp but was not vaccinated did not make the list, which raised eyebrows among Bucs players.

Within the season, the Buccaneers had said they were 100% vaccinated. It recently turned out to be incorrect when it was revealed that Antonio Brown and security Mike Edwards had used fake vaccine cards. The NFL suspended both players – as well as free agent receiver John Franklin III – three games for misrepresenting their vaccination status.

Brown’s attorney said Thursday that Brown is vaccinated, but chose not to fight the NFL’s discipline.

The NFL has estimated that about 94% of players have received the vaccine, with about 80% receiving it at the team’s health facilities – meaning the league does not believe fake cards are a widespread problem, according to ESPN.

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