Tom Brady has offered up a mea culpa after comparing life in the NFL to a military deployment.
Brady, speaking with reporters on Thursday, began his media session by walking back the remarks, which came earlier this week on his podcast.
The future Hall of Famer called his comments a "very poor choice of words."
“Before we start can I say one thing?" Brady said, according to Pro Football Talk. "Earlier this week I made a statement about playing football and the military, and it was a very poor choice of words. I apologize.”
Brady declined to explain further when a reporter asked a followup question.
“To be honest I don’t really want to expand on it too much,” Brady said. “I have a tremendous amount of gratitude to everyone who served. In the end, we play a game, and the military is defending our country. It’s two different things, and I shouldn’t have made the comparison.”
Brady's comparison to the military came while discussing the toll his football career has taken on his personal life.
“I almost look at like a football season like you're going away on deployment for the military,” Brady said. “And it's like, 'Man, here I go again.’
“The reality is, you can really only be authentic to yourself, right?,” said Brady. “Whatever you may say -- 'Ah, man, I want to, you know, make sure I spend a little more time doing this during the season,' the reality is, is when it comes down to it, your competitiveness takes over and as much as you want to have this playful balance with the work balance -- you're going to end up doing exactly what you've always done, which is why you are who you are.”
The remarks came amid swirling rumors indicating Brady and wife Gisele Bundchen have separated and seeking a divorce, reportedly due at least in part to Brady's refusal to retire and spend more time with his family.
The military comparison prompted criticism of Brady by fans, journalists and even some veterans.