Bucs' Tom Brady apologizes for comparing football season to military

TAMPA, Fla. -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady opened his Thursday weekly news conference by apologizing for a comment he made in his "Let's Go!" podcast with Jim Gray on Monday, comparing the NFL season to military deployment.

"Earlier this week, I made a statement about playing football and the military and it was a very poor choice of words," Brady said before taking questions. "I just want to express that to any sentiments out there that people may have taken it a certain way. So I apologize."

On the podcast, Brady told Gray and Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant, "I almost look at like a football season like you're going away on deployment in the military, and it's like, 'Man, here I go again.' There's only one way to do it. And I think Jim, we've talked from time to time just about how do you enjoy the certain moments of it? The reality is you can really only be authentic to yourself, right?

"Whenever you may say, Oh man, I want to, you know, make sure I spend a little more time doing this -- when it comes down to it, your competitiveness takes over and as much as you want to have this playful balance with the work balance, you're going to end up doing exactly what you've always done, which is why you are who you are. You're going to go, How the f--- do I get it done? You know, What do I got to do to get it done?"

Some members of the military community took to social media to express their disappointment.

Brady has shown support for the military in the past, including a 2018 trip to visit U.S. Army and Air Force troops at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar.

When asked Thursday if he wanted to further clarify what he meant by comparing the grind of an NFL season to deployment, Brady said, "To be honest, I don't really want to expand on it too much. But I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to everyone who served. In the end, we play a game, and the military is defending our country. It's two very different things and I shouldn't have made the comparison."