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Tom Brady inserted himself into a conversation about the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show that he probably should have stayed far out of. You know exactly what show we are talking about: Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, and the wardrobe malfunction.
On Monday’s episode of the retired athlete’s Let’s Go podcast, he dismissed the wardrobe malfunction as nothing more than a publicity stunt. “I think in the end, it was probably a good thing for the NFL because everyone got to talk about it,” he explained. “It was just more publicity and more publicity for halftime shows.” He had already dug himself in a hole, but the former NFL star had more to say.
“Is any publicity bad publicity?” he asked. “That’s what they say, so who knows?” If anyone has been paying attention over the last 19 years, Jackson, not Timberlake, suffered from the consequences of that night. It is well-documented that her career tanked while the “SexyBack” singer’s career soared. He only made a meager apology at the time while the music industry expected the “Rhythm Nation” superstar to apologize over and over again.
It wasn’t until 2021 that Timberlake finally admitted (under the duress of his portrayal in the Britney Spears’ documentary), “It’s an understatement to say that it was sort of unfair if you consider it 50-50, I probably got 10% of the blame. And that says something about society. I think that America’s harsher on women, and I think that America’s unfairly harsh on ethnic people.”
Even with his own high-powered career, Brady should have been paying attention. That 2004 Super Bowl half-time moment has been dissected by social media and the press over and over again. It was a painful time for Jackson and for Black women who understand all too well the narrative that unfolded. Hopefully, he will listen to the criticism that is now coming his way because there is a deeper lesson beyond it was “a good thing for the NFL.”
Before you go, click here to see every Super Bowl halftime performer since 1993.
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