GQ writer explains why his Deflategate interview with Tom Brady was a disaster

Tom Brady is on the cover of GQ’s “Men of the Year” issue, but his interview with Chuck Klosterman has a lot of people shaking their heads.

The interview was expected to be a lengthy sit-down with the three-time Super Bowl champion, in which everything was on the table, including Deflategate. Instead, it ended early because Brady refused to talk about the controversy.

The story behind how the interview became such a disaster is, to put it succinctly, strange.

Klosterman, one of the top pop culture authors, had interviewed three people this year before his planned sit-down with Brady: Taylor Swift, Kobe Bryant, and Eddie Van Halen. So when it was revealed that he had interviewed Brady, antennas everywhere went up in anticipation of what Brady had said.

He said nothing.

In what was supposed to be an interview in which “everything was on the table,” Brady refused to answer any questions about the one thing everybody wants to know about.

After a few benign questions, Klosterman moved into Deflategate with what he referred to as a simple “baseline” question:

Klosterman: There’s one element of the Wells Report that I find fascinating: The report concludes that you had a “general awareness” of the footballs being deflated. The report doesn’t say you were aware. It says you were generally aware. So I’m curious — would you say that categorization is accurate? I guess it depends on how you define the word generally. But was that categorization true or false?

Brady: [pause] I don’t really wanna talk about stuff like this. There are several reasons why. One is that it’s still ongoing. So I really don’t have much to say, because it’s — there’s still an appeal going on.

Klosterman explains in the story that he expected Brady to give the same answer he had given before, “no,” and that this was simply to lay the foundation for the rest of the interview in which Klosterman would ask some more far-reaching questions.

After Brady’s initial refusal to answer the question, Klosterman continues to push Brady for an answer or even a clear explanation for refusing to answer a question he has answered in the past.

Seven minutes after the first Deflategate question, the interview was over.

After the interview went live, Klosterman appeared on “The Bill Simmons Podcast” and discussed the interview and how it ended up the way it did.

Klosterman told Simmons that it was Brady who wanted to be on the cover, but that it could only happen if there was an interview, and there was no interview unless Klosterman was free to ask anything.

“Either the people around Tom Brady, or Brady himself, wanted to be on the cover of the ‘Man of the Year’ issue,” Klosterman told Bill Simmons. “They obviously thought this would be something they would want to do. I don’t know why. They thought this would be a great thing, an important thing for them. But of course, in order to do that, they can’t just say they want it. There has to be an interview that goes with it, and I am not going to do an interview unless I can ask whatever I want … I would never agree to an interview with limitations.”

When reached by Business Insider, Klosterman said he was brought in after the interview was set up. He reiterated to us that he was told directly on multiple occasions that there would be no limitations on what he could ask.

Klosterman went on to tell to Simmons that “there’s no way you can do a piece on Tom Brady and not sort of discuss the most interesting controversy of his career that is still sort of ongoing.”

“It appears from what I have been told,” Klosterman continued, “essentially they said, ‘Everything is on the table. This interview will be kind of like the ultimate explanation for this entire [Deflategate] controversy.'”

But here is where things got wonky.

Klosterman was all set to meet with Brady when it got changed to a phone interview. He adds that the Brady camp made sure the photoshoot happened before the interview.

It is clear that Klosterman feels that at some point, Brady or his representatives had a change of heart about the interview. Klosterman told Simmons:

“I don’t know if this is what happened. But to me, it almost seems as though they made sure that GQ had these pictures of Brady in his house and everything was set up for the cover and then maybe decided — or never intended — actually to talk about the things I wanted to talk about.”

Business Insider reached out to Brady’s agent and personal attorney, Don Yee. While Brady does have other representatives, it is Yee who has been front-and-center with the Deflategate issue and has handled the media in many different forums when the controversy is to be discussed.

In other words, if somebody wants to talk about Deflategate with Brady, the logical person to contact is Yee.

Yee told BI that while he knew about the GQ photoshoot, he was unaware there was a planned interview and assured us that he never signed off on a tell-all interview on Deflategate.

While he stopped short of saying he would not have allowed the interview, he explained that he would have wanted to speak with either Klosterman or somebody at GQ, and that he would have had the obvious reservations associated with the ongoing case.

Strangely, that never happened.

Klosterman’s final question to Brady was to ask him if he knew he was going to be asked about Deflategate.

CK: Were you not informed by any of the people around you that these questions were going to be asked?

TB: [sort of incredulously] No. I was —

CK: No?

TB: This is ongoing litigation.

That’s it, and we never got the Tom Brady tell-all we were hoping for.

We have reached out to GQ for comment.

If you know more about this interview, please feel free to send an email to [email protected] We will be discreet.

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