Tom Brady complained this week about a $16,444 fine he received for attempting to trip Dallas Cowboys safety Malik Hooker during a playoff loss. (Watch the replay below.)
The “blatantly dirty play” happened while Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers were being blown out in the wild-card round earlier this month. The quarterback tried a dangerous slide tackle from behind while pursuing Hooker after the defender recovered an apparent fumble.
Brady wasn’t penalized in the moment, but the NFL issued a monetary penalty later. Brady said he would appeal.
“I tried to trip him but I didn’t,” Brady said Monday on his “Let’s Go!” podcast. “So I don’t know how you can get fined for something that didn’t even happen. Are they fining an intention? It’s like targeting and you miss the person you hit, and they still call it targeting. So, I got to figure out and understand why this is the case.”
The TV replay shows he may have made contact despite his claim.
Brady added that he wished the players’ union “was stronger” to deal with such issues.
Brady’s pushback irked some sports journalists.
“Just pay the fine, dude!” wrote Andy Nesbitt from USA Today’s For the Win.
“Sometimes, he acts like a punk when he doesn’t get his way,” Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio wrote. “In this case, he admits that he did it. His excuse is that the trip didn’t actually trip Hooker.”
“He should just take his L, shake the coins out of the couch cushions, pay the fine, and move on,” Florio added.
On the same podcast, the seven-time Super Bowl winner also cussed in anger when podcast partner Jim Gray asked him about his future.