It’s not the six Super Bowls.
It’s not the three MVP awards.
It’s not the three All-Pro selections.
And it’s definitely not the 14 Pro Bowl selections.
The real reason why Tom Brady is popular is because, you guessed it, white supremacy.
Kyle Kusz, a kinesiology professor at the University of Rhode Island, published a book this month titled “Making American White Men Great Again: Tom Brady, Donald Trump, and the Allure of White Male Omnipotence in Post-Obama America." He theorized that Brady became popular due to the rise of “white rage and white supremacy,” according to Campus Reform.
Brady’s relationship with the media and President Trump is analyzed in the book, according to Campus Reform. The professor highlights a 2015 Under Armour commercial which depicts thousands of Tom Bradys working out and tells the audience to “Rule Yourself.” Kusz says the commercial “would not seem out of place in Leni Reifenstahl’s infamous Nazi propaganda film, ‘Triumph des willens.’”
Kusz told Campus Reform it was the specific commercial from 2015 which drove him to analyze Brady further.
“I decided to research Trump and Brady's public performances of their white masculinities and how they connect with broader debates about race and gender politics after a student in one of my classes brought the Under Armour commercial to my attention and it piqued my interest,” he said.
Kusz also hammers home the point of who Brady surrounds himself with outside football, specifically with who he takes to the Kentucky Derby with each year. He told the website that because he brings mostly white teammates with him to the event it “tells a more particular story about the racial company he chooses to keep.”
“It is a vision of Brady as a wealthy, white man who unapologetically enjoys, and has even made a habit out of, spending time with other wealthy white men who treasure time ‘with the boys’ over all others,” he said. Going to the Derby, Kusz added, “suggests his performance of white masculinity shares much in common with President Trump’s” because most of the Derby’s attendees include elite white people.
The professor, a New York native who received a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, also cites Brady’s failure to denounce Trump and his intense diet as evidence of how his "white masculinity is repeatedly constructed."