Tom Brady retiring from football is a big deal, but NFL Network analyst Shaun O’Hara failed miserably as he attempted to quantify it.
Wednesday morning, when Brady announced his retirement from the NFL for a second time, it elicited countless well-deserved tributes. And then there was former New York Giants offensive lineman Shaun O’Hara, who was on NFL Network and shamelessly compared Brady’s announcement to 9/11 and the JFK assassination.
Bro a quarterback retired he didn’t get his head blown off lol pic.twitter.com/9jby416VTv
— Kyle (@kylepaganCB) February 1, 2023
“This is a huge moment, not just for Tom Brady, not just for the NFL, but for all of us,” O’Hara said. “Look, people remember where they were when JFK was assassinated. They remember where they were for 9/11.”
“Can I interrupt you real quick?” Good Morning Football host Peter Schrager interjected. “His first start was the week after 9/11. That’s how long he’s been playing!”
I assumed Schrager was attempting to save O’Hara from saying something regrettable on-air, but instead, he made a second 9/11 reference, albeit one that wasn’t nearly as bad.
O’Hara was attempting to claim people will remember where they were when Brady retired. He wasn’t directly comparing Brady’s retirement to the worst terrorist attack in American history or the president being assassinated. Still, using 9/11 or JFK’s assassination as part of a sports analogy will always show a lack of moral judgment.
People learned of Brady’s retirement by watching a video of the former quarterback relaxing on a Florida beach and O’Hara sought to compare that to the images people have rooted in their minds from the tragic events he referenced. Obviously, Brady’s decision to leave football doesn’t have the same societal impact.
The fact that people remember where they were for unexpected tragedies like 9/11 or the JFK assassination speaks to something much larger than football. Personally, I don’t even remember where I was when Brady retired last year, so odds are I won’t remember exactly where I was while reflecting on his second retirement either.
Being that O’Hara grew up in New Jersey not far from the World Trade Center, and played most of his NFL career with the New York Giants, you would expect him to have a better pulse for anything pertaining to 9/11.