The Barstool Sportsbook Has Arrived In MichiganLearn More

Tom Brady is Taking Fire for Selling "Immunity" Pills

NY Post - Tom Brady launched a new “immunity” multivitamin supplement this week — and critics quickly tackled the quarterback for the timing of the release during the coronavirus pandemic.

Brady, 42, newly signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, announced the release of the “immunity blend supplement,” called Protect, through his company, TB12 Sports, on social media Monday.

“Over the years, I’ve learned how important it is to be proactive in taking care of my own body,” Brady said in a video posted to Instagram. ...

Critics bashed him on Twitter for the not-so-coincidental timing of the release — and for capitalizing on people’s fears amid the pandemic. In Brady’s new home state, nearly 47,000 coronavirus cases and over 2,000 related deaths have been reported, according to the Florida Department of Health.

But TB12 CEO Johns Burns told Yahoo! Sports that “now more than ever, it’s important to have daily support for a healthy immune response as our bodies are subject to constant stressors that deplete its resources.”

Brady’s company touts the drug for “supporting natural killer cells” and “replenishing antibodies post-exercise,” helping to “activate your immune system and counter stress-induced immune suppression,” according to a product description.

Reading this I can't help but think that somewhere in Tampa Bay, there's a lifelong Bucs fan who turned his emotional attachment to his team into a career of covering them. Maybe it's a guy who was around in the early days of the franchise, going 0-14 their first season and 7-37 over their first three. That he lived through the days of Shaun King and Chris Simms and the Greg Schiano era and watched in horror as a No. 1 pick threw 30 interceptions with seven Pick-6s in this fifth season. And whoever that Bucs writer is, he's seeing this and asking himself 'WT actual F is this?" 

If such a guy exists, all I can do is wish him good luck. It's no longer my fight. 

If it still was, I'd care even less about what a couple of Twitter eggs and a "Geritrician" say than I do now. While at the same time cringing at the tone-deafness of talking about "constant stressors" and "replenishing antibodies" and "stress-induced immune suppression" at a time like this. Because even if you believe in the product and it's been FDA approved after clinical studies prove it does all you say it does, to most of the public, you're still going to come across as this:

Not that it's illegal or immoral to be pushing supplements right now. It's not objectively wrong to be talking pseudo science ragtime about miracle elixirs that support natural killer cells that counter stress-induced immune suppression while helping your post-exercise recovery while stimulating hair growth just like an elixir ought to do.

Simply for the terrible look of it. If Brady was trying to do damage to the TB12 Fitness brand, he could hardly have picked a worse product to launch at a worse time. At best, it shows how unself-aware the business is. At worst, it gives off the rank odor of profiteering off a pandemic. Either way, it could've waited a few weeks, until we've all mentally moved onto important issues like MLB coming back and when "Wonder Woman '84" will hit theaters. As opposed to now, when the cable news channels are breathlessly tracking the death toll like it's a morbid version of Drew Brees approaching the passing yards record.

Stuff like this is the downside of being a Bradysexual. Having to process his odd life choices. It's recipes for dehydrated algae and ceramic-lined pajamas to focus your energy while you sleep and miracle pills. And that uncomfortable bromance with Alex Guerrero, who was sanctioned by the FTC in 2005 for "falsely presenting himself as a doctor and claiming to be able to cure cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and Parkinson's disease," and the generally weirdo stuff he eats and otherwise ingests. 

I've always looked at it like this: A lot of people who achieve a level of success beyond anyone's wildest dreams have a hard time processing it. So they turn to something. Some belief system they can cling to in order to handle the situation, mind, body and soul. For some, it's religion. Or cults. Some, like Derek Jeter and DiCaprio, sleep with all the world's most attractive women. Tragically others, like Chris Farley and Amy Winehouse, self medicate. I truly believe that Brady turned to his belief system of rethinking everything we know about human physiology and athletic performance. With Guerrero as his Yoda. And they are so deep into it, they've lost sight of how peculiar it all seems to the outside world. Especially when we're trying to get our lives back. 

There's no malice here. A little too much profit motive maybe. And an absolute blind eye to how it was going to be perceived. But it's not the first time and it won't be the last. It's the price you pay to have the GOAT as your quarterback. Any sane fan would pay that price a million times over. But it does get really cringey at times.