Is Tom Brady Secretly Protesting The NFL?

The suspended Patriots quarterback finds himself in a new controversy: “Helmetgate”

Tom Brady played all preseason without the NFL logo on his helmet (image via Twitter).

Days after the National Football League warned players not to remove the American flag decal from their helmets, controversy is brewing over New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s apparent decision to play this preseason without donning the NFL logo decal.

Brady faces suspension for the first four regular season games due to his role in the so-called “Deflategate” scandal—in which the Patriots used illegally deflated footballs during the AFC Championship Game two seasons ago—leading many to wonder whether the missing helmet sticker was an act of protest. But according to a report on Monday, Brady denies any knowledge of the absent logo.

The NFL fines players $6,076 for a first-time uniform violation, while second offenses cost $12,154, which the league saw fit to remind players last week after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s preseason protests of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

It’s unclear whether Brady will be fined for his “accidental” violation, but the husband of Gisele Bündchen does serve as a useful point of comparison to Kaepernick, who makes his activism no secret and embraces the consequences. Brady may not have known about the missing decal—like he didn’t know about the deflated balls—or he’s the league’s most passive-aggressive protester.