FOXBORO -- The Patriots returned to Gillette Stadium on Monday, and with that, the topic of Tom Brady's nose came up.
When Bill Belichick was asked if it looked differently on Monday, he quietly said, "No," while sporting a look on his face that read, "It's his nose, who cares?"
He never actually said that, and neither did any of Brady's teammates. But the sarcasm pouring from the players' mouths when asked about it implied just as much.
When asked if Brady was "still a handsome man," a sarcastic Wes Welker said, "He's such a good-looking guy. Obviously he gets banged up, and he's probably the toughest metrosexual I've ever come across."
In separate statements Saturday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL Players Association chief DeMaurice Smith each criticized President Donald Trump's verbal attack on NFL players.
The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture. There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we’ve experienced over the last month. Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.
And Smith's statement:
Whether or not Roger or the owners will speak for themselves about their views on player rights and their commitment to player safety remains to be seen. This union, however, will never back down when it comes to protecting the constitutional rights of our players as citizens as well as their safety as men who compete in a game that exposes them to great risks.
NFLPA president Eric Winston, a tackle for the Cincinnati Bengals, also tweeted a statement critical of the President:
At a rally in Alabama on Friday night, Trump said NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. And he encouraged NFL fans to walk out of games in protest.
“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ’Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,” Trump told the rally.
He also lamented that football has become less violent.
“They’re ruining the game,” he complained.
President Trump responded again on Twitter Saturday afternoon, saying players who don't stand for the anthem should, "Find something else to do!"