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Brady weighs in on Trump-NFL controversy

Several New England Patriots players kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is at odds with President Donald Trump on the issue of player protests of the national anthem, calling Trump's comments "just divisive."

Brady told "Kirk and Callahan" on WEEI-FM that he "certainly" disagrees with Trump's comment that NFL owners should fire any player who refuses to stand for the anthem.

“Yeah, I certainly disagree with what he said. I thought it was just divisive," Brady said.

Patriots locked arms with some teammates during the "Star Spangled Banner" on Sunday against the Texans while other players kneeled.

Brady said he could hear boos from the crowd directed at teammates who took a knee.

"I think everyone's got the right to do whatever they want to do. If you don’t agree, that is fine. You can voice your disagreement, I think that is great. It’s part of our democracy. As long as it is done in a peaceful, respectful way, that is what our country has been all about," Brady said.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick also weighed in on the topic, issuing a press release Monday afternoon.

“I have immense respect and admiration for our players, for how they conduct themselves professionally as New England Patriots and for how they represent themselves, their families and community as men," Belichick noted. "I have coached football for over four decades and one of the greatest things about being in this environment is the diversity of people, backgrounds, viewpoints and relationships we are fortunate to experience. As with any large group of people, there is a variety of perspectives and opinions on many topics. Discussions occur between myself, individual players, groups and the entire team on an ongoing basis. They concern the team and other issues surrounding the team. I am going to keep the specifics of those conversations private. I will do what I feel is best for the team in my role as head coach and collectively, we will work together to find the best way to proceed.”

Trump's feud with the NFL shows no signs of abating, with the president tweeting early Monday morning: "The issue of kneeling has nothing to do with race. It is about respect for our Country, Flag and National Anthem. NFL must respect this!"

Brady has called Trump a "good friend" in the past and one of Trump's "Make America Great Again" hats was spotted in Brady's locker in 2015. Trump has often praised the quarterback on social media.

Brady skipped a White House visit with Trump in April when the team celebrated its fifth Super Bowl title.

NBC 10 News contributed to this report.

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