Tom Brady vs Colin Kaepernick: Super Bowl LV Conjures QB Political Debate

Colin Kaepernick's name rarely surfaces during the middle of football season unless an NFL team is having a quarterback crisis. His name usually comes up during the offseason, protests against police brutality and whenever athletes of any sport kneel for the national anthem.

Not long after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the NFC Championship game on Sunday, Kaepernick's name arose once again. Not for his prowess as a quarterback, but his stances that were deemed political in nature.

The Buccaneers are led by quarterback Tom Brady, who played for the New England Patriots the last 20 years before leaving for Tampa last offseason. Brady has been viewed as a conservative, but he hasn't really been vocal about it one way or another. He used to play golf with Donald Trump long before he was President Donald Trump—as far back as 2005 when George W. Bush was the president. Trump, as president, was vocal against those who knelt during the national anthem, especially Kaepernick.

Tom Brady and Donald Trump
Then-New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady chats with Donald Trump at a UFC fight in 2005, more than eight years before Trump became President of the United States. Photo by Donna Connor/WireImage via Getty

So after Brady won his 10th conference championship and advanced to his 10th career Super Bowl, a statement was posted on social media how fans can differentiate, or separate, political views between Brady and Kaepernick.

"Funny how people can separate Tom Brady's politics from his game, but struggle to do the same when it comes to Kaepernick," Ahmed Ali wrote.

Funny how people can separate Tom Brady’s politics from his game, but struggle to do the same when it comes to Kaepernick.

— Ahmed Ali (@MrAhmednurAli) January 25, 2021

This sparked a day of activity on Twitter with many folks continuing their support for Kaepernick, but many more who said they supported Brady—even if they didn't like the Tampa Bay quarterback for either his success or political leanings.

Brady has won six Super Bowls, which meant six invitations to the White House to celebrate the achievement. Brady skipped a White House visit during the Obama presidency, and he skipped another to see his old golfing buddy Trump. Brady made all three trips while George W. Bush was president.

Before the comments that sprayed across the political spectrum, here are some pure football numbers that separate Brady and Kaepernick.

Kaepernick has a career regular-season record of 28 wins and 30 losses—32 wins and 32 losses when playoffs are included. Brady has more playoff wins (33) than Kaepernick has total wins in his career. Brady's career record is 259-75, including the playoffs.

Brady has played in 14 conference championship games, which is double the amount of Joe Montana—who is second with seven conference title games.

Kaepernick played in the NFL from 2011-16, playing in one Super Bowl after the 2012 season (a 34-31 loss to Baltimore). Brady has played in nine Super Bowls, winning three of them before Kaepernick entered the league and winning two more after Kaepernick's departure.

When it comes to their football careers, it's hard to even compare them as Brady is now widely considered one of the best—if not the absolute best—quarterback who ever played. Brady has won Super Bowls during the administrations of two Republican presidents (George W. Bush and Trump) and one Democrat president (Barack Obama). Should he win another Super Bowl on February 7 at his home stadium in Tampa, he'd win another under a fourth president (Democrat Joe Biden).

Making the Super Bowl is tough, even if Brady has seemed to make it look easy. Of his nine previous Super Bowl appearances, only two of those came during the eight-year Obama presidency. Brady had four appearances during the Bush presidency, two while Obama was in the White House and three during Trump's four years. Now he's making his first under the Biden administration.

Here is what Twitter had to say about the Brady-Kaepernick political segment Monday.

Brady, I can't stand him, did not force his politics on us during his job, which we pay to watch. I did not even know Brady was a Trump supporter until I read this. Know why? It is because I do not care what others politics are unless they throw it in my face, as Kap did.

— Shawn (@HypnoGuyShawn) January 25, 2021

I would love to hear from them about what they would say to you. I can’t speak for either man—- but I have a ton of respect for both. They are both good men on/off the field. Who have achieved the highest of greatness...I would just love to hear what they would say. 🙏

— Yesenia Hudson (@YeseniaHudson25) January 25, 2021

Brady is the best QB ever. Kap had a few good years with a dominant defense and then the league caught up with read option qbs and he went 2-14

— Not Vonderhaar (@notactuallyvohn) January 25, 2021

Kap shed light on a systemic police racism & brutality by courageously taking a knee during the national anthem. He lost a SB in 2012.

Of the last 6 Super Bowls, Tom had played in 4, won 3 and might add 1 more. He’s 43 and inarguably the best player ever. He had MAGA hat in 2016

— Connor Plasse (@keepit_Plasse) January 25, 2021

Dude respectfully the Greatest Quarterback of all time vs a decent middle of the road quarterback at best. Legends of a Game get special treatment and they didn’t make those rules the paying public did.

— JPO™ (@CITY_CFFC) January 26, 2021

While I respect Colin for his stance, I don't believe the two situations are even close!

— billy shorr (@BillyShorr) January 26, 2021

Well I don’t follow sports at all. But somehow I know all about Colin’s politics & I’ve been told he wasn’t that good of a player...I have no idea about Tom’s politics but I know many think he’s a great player. Maybe that’s why? Just a thought brother.

— Mike Webster (@mwebster1971) January 26, 2021