Petition Urging Tom Brady's Company To Return PPP Loans Hits Over 150,000 Signatures

A petition calling for Tom Brady's sports performance and nutrition company to pay back over $900,000 worth of small business loans has received almost 160,000 signatures in just two months.

On April 15 last year, Brady's TB12 company received $960,855 from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as per data released two months ago by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The Change.org petition calls for Brady to "pay back this money or at least donate an equal amount of money to small businesses that would have received this money if his name did not get more attention."

The PPP is part of the small business lending program created under the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill the Congress and the Donald Trump administration passed in March last year to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Among its provisions, the CARES Act included $300 billion worth of one-time cash payments to American citizens, a $260 billion increase in unemployment benefits and the creation of the PPP, which provides forgivable loans to small businesses.

The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27 last year, just one week after Brady left the New England Patriots as a free agent after two decades to sign a two-year, $50 million fully guaranteed deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The 43-year-old started TB12 in 2013 and in April last year the company, which is based in Massachusetts, unveiled plans to expand to New York, Los Angeles and Tampa, where Brady relocated 11 after signing for the Bucs.

According to the Sports Business Journal, Brady's company was just one of over 500 sports-related companies to receive at least $150,000 in funding from the small business loans program.

Nevertheless, the prospect of a company owned by one of the best-paid athletes in the world receiving a government loan left a bitter taste in the mouth of some.

As per Spotrac, Brady has made approximately $263 million in career earnings over 21 seasons in the NFL, which works out at an average of $12.5 million a year.

According to Forbes estimates, when his commercial endorsements are taken into account, Brady made over $350 million during his two decades in New England alone.

Last year, Brady ranked 64th in Forbes' list of the world's 100 highest-paid celebrities and his wife, Gisele Bündchen, was estimated to be worth approximately $400 million.

Brady completed 21 of his 29 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the 31-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LV earlier this month, securing a seventh Super Bowl ring and a fifth Super Bowl MVP crown.

The seventh Super Bowl title means Brady has now won the Vince Lombardi Trophy more times than any of the 32 NFL franchises. For the Bucs, meanwhile, it was the first title since they defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII and only the second in franchise history.

Brady now has two more Super Bowl MVP awards than any other player in NFL history.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 7 in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9. Mike Ehrmann/Getty