One year to the day after retiring for the first time, NFL quarterback Tom Brady shared that he is once again retiring from football. This time, it’s apparently for good. Last February, the seven-time Super Bowl champion shocked the world when he announced that he was calling it quits on his storied career. But the retirement was short lived. By March 13, 2022, he had changed his mind and signed a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite a rocky season on and off the field (Brady and Gisele Bündchen finalized their divorce in October after 13 years of marriage), he led the Bucs to their third playoff appearance in as many years. They lost in the first round to the Dallas Cowboys, and, while Brady was coy at the time about his intentions, the writing was on the wall that the 45 year old had played his final game.
On Wednesday, the official confirmation came in with Brady sharing his decision on social media. During her show, Megyn and The Federalist’s Emily Jashinsky and Washington Free Beacon’s Eliana Johnson discussed the news of Brady’s retirement and what it means for Bündchen and his family.
Tom Brady Says He Is Officially Retiring – Again
Taking a more personal approach this time around, Brady alerted the world that he was closing the book on his 23-season career – that included 20 seasons and six Super Bowls with the New England Patriots and three years and one Super Bowl with Tampa Bay – via an Instagram post.
Acknowledging that he used up his allotted “super-emotional” send off last year, Brady recorded his message while sitting on a beach in Miami:
“Good morning, guys. I’ll get to the point right away. I’m retiring for good. I know the process was a pretty big deal last time, so when I woke up this morning I figured I’d just press record and let you guys know first. So I won’t be long-winded. I think you only get one super-emotional retirement essay, and I used mine up last year.
So I really thank you guys so much, to every single one of you for supporting me – my family, my friends, my teammates, my competitors. I could go on forever. There’s too many. Thank you, guys, for allowing me to live my absolute dream. I wouldn’t change a thing. I love you all.”– Tom Brady
He also shared a series of photos with his children, parents, ex-wife, teammates, and friends. He captioned the post:
I love my family
I love my teammates
I love my friends
I love my coaches
I love football
I love you all
I am truly grateful on this day. Thank you 🙏🏻❤️
The Subtext of Brady’s Retirement Message
For the most part, Brady’s retirement message was what one would expect from a professional athlete. He closed out the video by saying that he “wouldn’t change a thing,” which – given all that has transpired in the last year – stood out to Megyn. “You wouldn’t change the part at the end where you lost your wife of 13 years because you wouldn’t retire? A thing that you decided to do 365 days later,” she questioned. “Honestly, Tom Brady seems like a rather sweet guy… He’s amazing as a football player, but the collapse of your marriage over one extra year of football seems like something one should regret.”
The first time Brady flirted with retirement, the rumor mill suggested it was because Bündchen wanted him to. She had been open in interviews about the concerns she had about his health given the physical nature of football, in addition to the fact that she put her highly successful and lucrative modeling career on hold to raise their children for much of their marriage. “I always wonder if we really know everything about what went on there,” Johnson noted. “It’s just always hard to see into the personal lives of these people, which I’m sure are crazy. He has a wildly successful wife as well… that stuff is hard.”
While Jashinsky lamented the breakdown of a marriage and family, she pointed out that elite athletes often struggle with retirement. “These high-level athletes – Tom Brady is one of the best athletes that has ever competed in modern history – it’s an obsession, and it’s a temptation for high-level athletes to earn more money, to get to that next Super Bowl, to break those records, etc,” she said. “I hope this is his retirement, and I hope it means that he’s getting his family back together.”
What’s Next for Gisele Bündchen?
Though Brady and Bündchen are divorced and the supermodel has been spotted on photoshoots and spending time with her ju-jitsu instructor, Megyn couldn’t help but wonder how she was feeling in the wake of her ex-husband’s announcement. “What would it be like to be Gisele today,” she asked. “Gisele Bündchen is waking up to do her next big photoshoot and sees what? Okay so you could have saved the marriage a year ago when I begged you to do this and you refused and you decided for 300-plus days it would be worth it to lose me, cause all this heartache to our children, blow up our beautiful life for what for one season?”
Assuming Brady did choose his career over his family when he came out of retirement last year, Jashinsky noted that it says a lot about his priorities. “If his retirement was about putting her first and then he went back and unretired, that’s really about her,” she explained. “That’s about his treatment of his wife as opposed to his treatment of his career.”
Megyn agreed. “I mean, just the insult… what a middle finger,” she said. “If that is what actually happened, it isn’t a good marriage; that is somebody who’s not actually connected and in love and intimately involved in the way you would expect and want your spouse to be.”
“He lasted one more year… where’s the self-sacrifice,” Megyn concluded. “To me, this is just a tragedy.”
You can check out Megyn’s full show with Emily Jashinsky and Eliana Johnson by tuning in to episode 484 on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you like to listen. And don’t forget that you can catch The Megyn Kelly Show live on SiriusXM’s Triumph (channel 111) weekdays from 12pm to 2pm ET.