AILSA CHANG, HOST:
Basically, all athletic competition is on pause for the moment, but we do have some sports news now. Tom Brady announced on social media that he is leaving the New England Patriots. As quarterback, he led them to six Super Bowls in 20 years with the team. Esteban Bustillos from member station WGBH in Boston has more.
ESTEBAN BUSTILLOS, BYLINE: If you were paying attention during the Super Bowl, you may have noticed Brady making light of the rumors about his upcoming free agency during a Hulu commercial.
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TOM BRADY: Me - I'm not going anywhere.
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BUSTILLOS: Well, it turns out that may have been a little bit of false advertising. Brady doesn't say where he's going or what exactly he'll be doing next, only writing that, quote, "my football journey will take place elsewhere," and, "I don't know what my football future holds, but it is time for me to open a new stage for my life and career." In Watertown, right outside of Boston, the news caught local resident Mike Olson off guard.
MIKE OLSON: He's been a big part of the Boston area for a long time, kind of like Larry Bird or something. Yeah, that's just not good news coming right now with everything else.
BUSTILLOS: Mary DiPitro, also of Watertown, says she's good with Brady's decision.
MARY DIPITRO: I think he did a wonderful job. I wish him lots of luck. And he's a man of his own conventions. Yeah, I'm glad for him if this is what he wants.
BUSTILLOS: In a statement, Patriots CEO and chairman Robert Kraft writes that he loves Brady like a son, but the two sides simply couldn't reach an agreement to extend Brady's playing days in a Pats uniform. Brady's longtime head coach Bill Belichick wrote that Brady is a special person and the greatest quarterback of all time. If you're a Pats fan, Tom Brady is the golden boy; if you're not, he's more like the Wicked Witch of the West. But you can't deny that the 14-time Pro-Bowler and three-time MVP and his new England teams were a constant in every football lover's life - hate it or love it. Now, like so many other things these days, that constant we took for granted is changing.
For NPR News, I'm Esteban Bustillos in Boston.
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