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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, head coach Bill Belichick and owner Robert Kraft have all shown varying levels of support for President Trump, and that isn’t sitting well with some longtime fans, including “Last Week Tonight” writer and Massachusetts-native Josh Gondelman.
“I'd like to be able to cheer for the team I grew up loving without cheerleading the Trump administration,” the comedian wrote in a tweet Thursday evening, sharing his hesitation with his more than 90,000 followers.
He followed that tweet with the suggestion that those feeling the same way about watching Super Bowl LI could try donating to an organization they support every time the Patriots score, crediting another Boston-area friend for coming up with the idea:
And with that, the hashtag #AGoodGame was born. In his initial tweet, Gondelman pledged $50 and $100 donations to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund for every Patriots field goal and touchdown, respectively. Other users are pledging amounts from $2 to $100 (if Brady is picked as the season MVP) to organizations including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and Council on American Islamic Relations of Massachusetts. Even a few Falcons fans jumped on board:
“I'd like to think that even if this is partially a craven attempt to assuage my own guilt and complicity, I can do more good than harm by rallying people to do a little nice thing,” Gondelman wrote in a statement. “Not that enjoying the NFL is a hands-clean enterprise on its best day, but this is what I'm doing this weekend.”
In fact, he adds, this isn’t the first time he thought he should give up on being a football fan. In 2015, Gondelman wrote about his personal connection to Patriots fandom for Buzzfeed. At that time, Gondelman said it was the NFL that turned him off, citing the league's “dismal handling of domestic violence issues” and “resistance to effectively addressing the brain injuries sustained by their players.”
Today, his personal conflict hits even closer to home, with fan-favorite Brady bringing a “Make America Great Again” hat into the locker room.
“I tweeted that Tom Brady's politics are garbage, which may have been hyperbolic," Gondelman said in his statement. "What I mean, in the cold harsh light of day, is that I wish he would engage more critically with politics given his well-documented terrible choice in red hats.”