Billionaire businessman, Donald Trump is now holding his most commanding lead over GOP rivals for the Presidential nomination according to the latest national polling data. Data from a recent Monmouth University poll, reveals that 41% of likely voters in the Republican primary now favor the reality-TV show star, with his closest rival Texas Senator Ted Cruz at 14%. The results come amidst Trump’s latest call to bar entry of all Muslims into the United States.
A true master of xenophobia, Donald Trump has openly targeted his hatred towards minority groups, including Mexicans and more recently, Muslims. The tabloid-like American news media covers every move made by Trump, amplifying his message and creating an environment that fuels hate toward many Muslim-American--citizens that are made to feel unwelcome in Trump’s America. Donald Trump’s crusade against Muslims in America has not only called for banning Muslims from entering the USA, but he has advocated for special ID cards to identify Muslims, and the closing of mosques. Additionally, Trump has called for killing innocent family members of suspected terrorists abroad. The popularity of Trump’s ideas in a polarized nation, has pushed his competitors to further such notions. Neurosurgeon-turned-Islamophobe, Ben Carson has stated that a Muslim cannot become an American president. Party favorite, Marco Rubio has openly called for closing down of Muslim cafes and gathering places.
Shunned by the GOP establishment, Trump largely counts on celebrity endorsements to add credibility and traction to his fascist-themed campaign. The list is an all-star cast featuring the likes of Wayne Newton, Stephen Baldwin, Dennis Rodman, Herschel Walker, Mike Ditka, Terrell Owens, Dana White, Gary Busey, Lou Ferrigno, and Ted Nugent. Hulk Hogan and Charlie Sheen have openly called to become his Vice President. Shockingly, the list includes Mike Tyson. Tyson, a Muslim himself, says, “Anybody that was ever president of the United States offended some group of people or some groups of people were offended. He’s still ahead in the polls and he deserves a chance.” It may be argued that Tyson is a sellout, uneducated, or simply incapable of clear thought after taking too many blows to the brain in his storied boxing career.
Perhaps, more surprisingly, Tom Brady famously endorsed Trump for President in September 2015: [on Trump winning the general election] “I hope so. That would be great.” After some gentle media pressure, Brady walked back his endorsement. Later, the website Deadspin.com challenged reporters to query Brady on his support for Trump in light of his anti-Muslim comments. On his local Boston radio show on WEEI (93.7FM), on December 15, 2015, Brady addressed his opinions on Trump:
“Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all friends of mine…I’ve always enjoyed his company.”
“I support all my friends in everything they do. I think it’s pretty remarkable what he’s achieved in his life…and then getting into politics.”
Additionally, Brady has kept a Trump-monikered “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA.
While not clearly telling listeners to vote for Trump, Brady reiterated his friendship and support for perhaps the most reviled bigot in modern American history—perhaps something even worse. Trump’s rhetoric has inspired white supremacists to protest with assault rifles at places of Muslim worship across the country, and fostered hate crimes including the firebombing of American mosques, shootings targeted at hijab-clad women, and the murder of a Somali-American teen who was thrown off a Seattle rooftop. On air, Brady was given a clear chance to distance himself from this golfing pal, Mr. Trump --if not as a friend, at least from his racist policies. By continuing to align himself from the Mexican and Muslim-hating Trump, Brady refused to do something that even noted war criminals like Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu did: condemn Trump for his Islamophobic discourse. In fact, even stalwarts in the intolerant and prejudiced Republican Party such as Paul Ryan have declared that "this is not what our party [or country] stands for".
While not as egregious as his support for an international terror force, Brady's assertion of friendship and pseudo-endorsement of his “remarkable” buddy Trump (and the dead raccoon on his head) is in contradiction to some other well-known NFL quarterbacks. Recently, former NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers took time to criticize a fan who yelled “Muslims suck” (alternatively reported as “Death to Muslims”) in a moment of silence for Paris-attack victims before a Green Bay Packers game. San Francisco 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick has used his platform as an NFL celebrity to criticize Donald Trump by posting numerous memes and quotes on Twitter, in support of Muslims.
The failure of Tom Brady and his ilk is either one fraught of cowardice or hate. In this current American era of championed bigotry, taking a stance against Islamophobia, is not a difficult, unpopular or even controversial—Iraq war architect and noted neoconservative hawk Dick Cheney has condemned Trump’s policies: “goes against everything we stand for and believe in.” Perhaps and possibly likely, Tom Brady who has previously endorsed the Israeli Defense Forces and attended George Bush’s 2004 State of the Union address, simply agrees with Donald Trump’s stances on building walls to keep out Mexicans, a total shutdown of entrance of Muslims into America, the closing of mosques, killing the innocent families of suspected terrorists, and requiring American Muslims to carry special identification cards.