File. In this 7 February 2021 photo, Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after the team’s NFL Super Bowl 55 football game against the Kansas City Chiefs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady said that he contracted coronavirus in February this year, shortly after the team’s Super Bowl 55 victory parade.
In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Brady, 44, confirmed he was sick with Covid-19 earlier this year.
“I think [Covid-19] is going to be challenging this year. I actually think it’s going to play more of a factor this year than last year, just because of the way what we’re doing now and what the stadium is going to look like and what the travel is going to look like and the people in the building and the fans,” he said in the interview.
The National Football League (NFL) athlete has since been fully vaccinated.
Brady also talked about the football league’s testing and safety protocols for the upcoming season amid the spread of the Delta variant in the country.
“It’s not like last year, although we’re getting tested like last year. It’s going to be, I definitely think guys are going to be out at different points and we’ve just got to deal with it,” he said.
Brady, in his first season playing with the team, led them to become this year’s Super Bowl champions.
Because of the pandemic, the season was heavily restricted and games were played with either limited or no audiences.
Many games had also been rescheduled because several players tested positive at the time.
More recently, the NFL and the NFL Players Association took a decision to increase testing for vaccinated players as they prepared for a new season.
Brady, at the time of the Super Bowl win, had celebrated with his teammates and friends, partying on a boat. He had also held the Lombardi Trophy – awarded each year to the Super Bowl’s winning team – near the back of his boat and tossed it across open water to another boat after a few swings.
During an interview with Good Morning America in April, Brady admitted that “first of all, there was not a lot going through my mind at that point”.
“That was not smart for a couple of reasons. One is, If we drop it, that’s a little bit of a problem. But the worst thing that can happen is… the edges on that trophy are so sharp. Had [the trophy] clipped one of my boys in the other boat, it would’ve been an ugly parade,” he said.
Meanwhile, sports channel ESPN reported that 93 per cent of players training for the coming season had gotten at least one dose of a vaccine. It said that unvaccinated players will have to wear masks indoors, but they will not be required to do so outdoors.
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