Tom Brady complained this week about a $16,444 fine he received for trying to trip Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker in a playoff loss. (Watch the replay below.)
The “obviously dirty play” occurred as Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated in the wild card round earlier this month. The quarterback attempted a dangerous sliding tackle from behind while chasing Hooker after the defender recovered an apparent fumble.
Brady was not penalized at the time, but the NFL issued a monetary penalty later. Brady said he would appeal.
“I tried to trip him but I didn’t,” Brady said Monday on his “Let’s Go!” podcast. “So I don’t know how you can be fined for something that didn’t even happen. Are they sanctioning an intent? It’s like targeting and you miss the person you hit, and they still call it targeting. So, I have to understand and understand why that is.
The TV replay shows he may have made contact despite his claim.
Brady added that he wishes the players’ union “was stronger” to deal with such issues.
Brady’s pushback angered some sportswriters.
“Just pay the fine, man!” wrote Andy Nesbitt of USA Today’s For the Win.
“Sometimes he acts like a punk when he doesn’t get what he wants,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “In this case, he admits he did. His excuse is that the trip didn’t trip Hooker.
“He should just take his L, shake the coins off the sofa cushions, pay the fine and move on,” Florio added.
On the same podcast, the seven-time Super Bowl winner also swore in anger when his podcast partner Jim Gray asked him about his future.
It was an appropriate question. Brady, 45, is a free agent after a tough season that included a divorce and several on-court tantrums.
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