“I’ve done a lot of reflecting [over] the past week, and have asked myself difficult questions,” wrote Tom Brady in the announcement he posted on Tuesday (Feb. 1). “My teammates, coaches, fellow competitors, and fans deserve 100% of me, but right now, it’s best I leave the field of play to the next generation of dedicated and committed athletes.” With that, Tom, 44, retired from the game of football. With 22 seasons, seven Super Bowl championships, countless records, and a legacy that no one will refute, Tom’s decision to call it a career was greeted with sadness and support from some of those “fellow competitors” he mentioned in his statement.
“Congratulations and enjoy the next chapter, brother,” wrote JJ Watt in the comments section, adding, “Greatest Of All Time. [Goat Emoji].” Shaquil Barrett, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker and Tom’s teammate, wrote, “Congrats on an unprecedented career, TB12. We [are] going [to] miss you.” Tyrann Mathieu, a safety for the Kansas City Chiefs, wrote, The Great one!!! What a career, man!! Now onto bigger and better things! You’ll forever be remembered as the standard!! Loved going to battle against you!! Enjoy the family & time off!! It’s been a long 22 years for you! Grateful to ply against the best ever!”
Other sports stars also remarked on Tom’s retirement. “Congrats, bro!” wrote Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. “Enjoy the next chapter!” Shaquille O’Neal first didn’t want the news to be true. “No, man. Get your butt up and do one more year.” Shaq then changed his mind, adding, “Love [you], bro. Absolute joy to watch.” Kevin Love wrote that Tom was the “greatest ever!!! [goat emoji],” and golfer Justin Thomas added, “You’re the best TB. Nobody better in so many facets of life! Appreciate you being an inspiration to so many.”
Other entertainment stars also shared their love and appreciation to Tom over this significant decision. The Weeknd, who played the 2021 Super Bowl Halftime show and watched as Tom won his final championship, wrote “The greatest ever.” The Rock added, “Congratulations, my brother. What a historic career. Now, go enjoy that next chapter [with[ that same passion. Zest & mana. [Goat emoji].”
After a weekend full of chatter that Tom was hanging up his jersey – and reports about how Tom hadn’t decided on his future – the seven-time NFL champion confirmed that his time on the gridiron was over. Tom explained that “the sport of football is an ‘all-in’ proposition – if a 100% competitive commitment isn’t there, you won’t succeed, and success is what I love so much about our game.” Since Tom couldn’t give the game that 100%, so it was time to call it a career.
Tom then thanked his Bucs teammates, the Bus fans, the city of Tampa, and “the entire Tampa-St. Petersburg region,” Malcolm Glazer’s family (who owns the Bucs), the Bucs staff, his family, and wife Gisele Bundchen. Fans noted that nowhere in the statement did he name the New England Patriots, the team he played with for twenty years and won six of his seven Super Bowl titles with.