While the NFL world focuses on Colin Kaepernick not standing during the national anthem, there appears to be another silent protest going on during games, and this one comes from the biggest name in the league – Tom Brady.
Twitter user Eric Penza noticed that Brady’s helmet was missing the NFL logo during Thursday’s preseason game. It would normally be located to the left of the numerals on the back of the helmet.
Here is a Getty Images photo from the game.
- Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Here is what a Patriots helmet looks like with the NFL shield logo.
- Streeter Lecka/Getty Images; Michael Dwyer/AP
A one-time occurrence could just be a simple wardrobe malfunction.
But it turns out that the sticker was missing the week before during the third preseason game, and like Colin Kaepernick’s early national-anthem protests, nobody noticed.
Now it seems like something that could be intentional. The obvious speculation is that Brady is silently protesting his upcoming four-game Deflategate suspension.
But still, it is just two games. Brady did not play in the first two preseason games.
But then Paul Lukas of Uni-Watch noticed something interesting: Brady’s NFL helmet sticker has been missing for a while.
Here is the back of his helmet during training camp in June.
- Steven Senne/AP
And here is Brady’s helmet during the team’s first practices of the year (OTAs), back in May. Again, the NFL shield logo is not there.
- Michael Dwyer)/AP
The sticker was on the back of Brady’s helmet during the Patriots’ playoff loss to the Broncos, back in January. So this is something new that began during practices prior to this season.
- Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Now we’ve got a pattern – one that started when Brady was still fighting his suspension in court.
The NFL is notorious for their strict uniform policies and regularly fines players for wearing shoes, socks, or other items that do not conform to league guidelines. So it will be interesting to see if the league levies a fine on Brady and whether he will continue to play sans sticker during the regular season.
Neither Brady nor the NFL has commented on the situation.