Tom Brady walked out of a news conference Wednesday after being asked two questions about his association with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who the quarterback describes as "a friend."
In September, a "Make America Great Again" hat was spotted in Brady's locker, which he told reporters came from Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
When asked if he would endorse or vote for Trump, who at that point had made proclamations about sealing the U.S. off to immigration, Brady swerved and said, "He's a good friend."
Asked again, Brady joked that Trump would put a golf course on the White House lawn.
On Tuesday, Brady appeared on the Dennis & Callahan radio show, and was asked again about his relationship and possible endorsement of Trump, whose recent comments about banning Muslims from America have offended even some of his previous supporters.
"Can I just stay out of this debate?" Brady said. "Donald is a good friend of mine. I have known him for a long time. I support all my friends. That is what I have to say."
The next day, Brady's likeness was plastered alongside Trump's on the cover of the New York Daily News:
During a news conference Wednesday, Brady was asked about the Daily News cover and criticism of his support for Trump.
"I don't think about it much," he responded.
Brady then tried to change the subject back to football and the Patriots' upcoming game against the Tennessee Titans. But he was instead asked if he believed he had "opened the door to the criticism," to which he gave a forced laugh.
"I'm just here to play football," he said before leaving the news conference.
Lindsey Adler is a sports reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Lindsey Adler at email@example.com.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.